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Seeds of the Kingdom

Background noise

by John Berry

27 September 2010

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So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers...
Jer 27:9, NIV

I was sitting with some friends one evening, and we were sharing together some of the things that God had done in our lives. One after another gave testimony to the way God had met with them. For some it was while they were living an ungodly life before becoming a believer; for others it was at a time of drifting away. In each testimony there were encouragements for us about the love and saving grace of God.

Unfortunately, the room we were in was a conservatory extension with a polycarbonate (plastic) roof. When it began to rain heavily, the rain made a deafening noise on the roof, which made it extremely difficult to hear the words of testimony. It was almost as if someone didn’t want us to hear what was being said, as the rain started with the testimonies and became much less as they ended! I don’t believe that Satan is in charge of the weather to that extent, but I do know that he doesn’t like it when we hear good things about our Lord and our faith is strengthened.

The prophet Jeremiah warned the nations around Israel not to listen to the deceiving ‘background noise’ of the false prophets, who were drowning out God’s controversial word about Nebuchadnezzar and the looming threat that he represented: “So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers” Jer 27:9 NIV.

I wonder if there are background noises in our lives which are trying to drown out God’s good Word to us? Things like the constant memories of harsh words spoken over us by those close to us, not yet really forgiven. Or the wrong beliefs about ourselves which have resulted from bad experiences in the past, and which continually seem to undermine everything we try to do. Or like the negative attitudes of those around us who are not yet believers, which make it so hard to continue our Christian walk.

We couldn’t stop the rain, or change the roof to stop the noise. Instead we moved closer together and leant in towards the speaker to hear the important words being spoken.

When those opposing noises appear to increase around us, let’s lean into God to hear his words instead. He doesn’t stop speaking his Word just because of the enemy action in our lives. He still wants to bless, encourage and teach us. As we move closer to God we shall find it easier to hear that personal voice of the Lord to us. God is still speaking; what matters is whether we keep listening.

Prayer: Lord, life often seems so noisy that I miss what you are saying to me. I realise that this is part of the enemy’s plan, but I want to be a hearer, so I can be a doer also. Help me to draw closer to you so I can catch your every word. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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