You may think that moving to Canberra has been tough.... Well, it has! But when we are put in situations that challenge and grow us, God often allows us gaps and spaces for us to stop, relax and listen to Him. Tough is not bad and yes, I have grown heaps and I am so pleased that I took the leap of faith and moved. I cannot wait to see what God does in my life through this leap of faith!
I did sleep in my swag overnight (roughing it) and thought that I would take time out to celebrate 2 months at Canberra with scones and cream and a coffee!! And as I sat, I asked God why He had brought me to such a place! As I enjoyed morning tea, I wrote a poem...
Sitting and Listening ...... The Dish
By Tim Peden
Sitting in a remote sheep paddock
In anticipation that at any moment
An incredible discovery will be made.
A question answered
A mystery revealed
Or just the incredible wonder
Of the universe
Will be firmly established
Knowing that what we have witnessed
Is just a taste
Of what is out there!
Sit me in a place of isolation
A place set apart
From the chaotic noises of the world
Cause me to sit
As I give you my questions...
I sit and listen to you speak
As I ponder on who You are
Reveal your majesty
Help me to be grounded
In that place of knowing
The eternal God of the universe is
Today I choose to sit
God I anticipate
You will teach me to hear
Everything You are saying
And Your children!
Your servant is listening!
Some things that spending time in God's presence does:-
1.Gives us strength - as we wait in God's presence and just seek Him, He supernaturally renews our strength. The remedy for when you are feeling weak is stopping and spending time in His presence.
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
2. God gives us perspective - When we come into the presence of God, He shows us how things really are. Outside God's presence, we are quick to see things from man's perspective. From time with God, we start to see things from God's eternal perspective.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73;2-3
Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end. Psalm 73:17
3. As we are in His presence, He fills us with His Spirit. As a result of this, we demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit in our life. - There is no other way to be able to live with these fruits. It is not through hard work, praying harder or doing it in the flesh. Spending time with God, being filled with the Spirit causes us to demonstrate these fruits in our lives.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
4. By spending time with God, we can both listen to God and be led by Him - By doing this we become His children!
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14.
5. By being in His presence we receive life and peace - as we spend time in God's presence we become spiritually minded, leading to life and peace. We learn to operate in the spirit, not the flesh and learn to please God with how we think, act and love others.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8
6. As we listen to God, He shows us the "good works" He has made us for and shows us how to do them with HIm! - the good works are only done only through our relationship with God! There is no greater feeling than knowing you are doing what God has made you for!
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
This time at the dish has reminded me that I need to stop and regularly set time where I move from rushing around and focus on listening to God. As Jesus found this time each day essential for Him to be successful as He walked on earth, I would benefit from following His example. Sometimes it feels counter-intuitive as life is so busy, but like with Mary, we must CHOOSE what is best!
At a leadership meeting, I attended recently, two terms were given that made me think. The terms were efficient or effective. This made me think as my whole focus in life was to get as much done in the time I have and finish the day with my list ticked off. My goal was to work efficiently and I have become quite good at this. Even though this goal is good, a better goal is to be effective. This means that I have had an impact in a positive way in the lives of people around me through my actions, words and time I have given people. God is challenging me to be effective, not efficient.
Here are some things that I found encouraging from being at the Dish in Parkes:-
1.God has made you be able to hear His voice
You have been designed to walk with God and have conversations with Him. This conversation started in the Garden with Adam and God. Samuel also heard the voice of God and was instructed to respond in the following way by Eli the Priest:-
Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”1 Samuel 3:10
God wants us to ask Him to speak and to be prepared to actively listen and obey what He says.
The Dish was designed and build to listen to radio waves. God designed and created you to listen to Him.
2.When we are all listening to God we get a stronger view of what God is saying
It is so encouraging to listen to what other Christian believers are saying and then share with them what God is saying to me. God often gives different people around the world the same message. This is like the new SKA (Square Kilometer Array) which will combine many radio telescopes that are 50 times as sensitive and astronomers will be able to find out what they are looking for 10,000 times faster! Let's all listen and encourage each other as we hear God speak! Join the body of Christ in hearing the voice of God!
The proposed Square Kilometre Array - Very powerful! So too is listening to God together, as the body of Christ!
3. The way we listen to God may need to be updated!
The old receiver that collected all the radio signals worked well when it was first installed but soon became outdated. The new system worked much faster and had a backup function that allowed the telescope to work even when one receiver failed. How can we continue to mature and grow in how we listen to God and discern His voice? Is there a better way to listen? Is there a place, should I journal, is it important to be reading the Bible as I listen, how much should I listen? All these questions and more should be answered. How can I hear God more clearly? Is it time for an upgrade? I want to hear Him better!
This is the old receiver.... Very old technology. Is it time for your technology/way of listening to God needing to be upgraded so you can hear God better?
Information on the new cabin and receiver! When is your upgrade due?
4. Not only do we focus our spiritual ears on God, what He says to us needs to be processed.
The Control Tower points the dish in the right direction and computers are used to process the information. As we ask God our questions and seek HIm to speak, we need to point our minds and spiritual ears to heaven. When we hear from God, the Bible or the Word of God is used to filter what is said to ensure it is from God. If it aligns with God's Word we have one essential indicator that we have heard correctly.
Make sure your spiritual ears are pointed towards where God is speaking...
5.There are seasons in our life where we get major revelations from God that enhance our ability to hear from Him.
The Dish is now 10,000 times more sensitive than when it was commissioned in 1961. Has God given you times in your life where He has upskilled, trained and prepared you to become more sensitive to God speaking? Ask God to make you more sensitive to Him speaking and expect that He will speak to you. Desire to be 10,000+ times more sensitive to Him talking to you. Listen as you are waking up, having breakfast, worshipping, working, resting, enjoying nature, enjoying friends, going through a crisis... He is always speaking.... train your spiritual ears to hear. Keep learning and growing in this area!
Praying in tongues is a great way to speak to God and open your spirit to listen to God. Click HERE for a great article on the benefits of praying in tongues.
The different upgrades the Dish has had since first being built-in 1961. God is in the process of upgrading your ability to hear Him!
God is looking forward to having his children not only wanting to hear His voice and setting time aside to listen but to be able to discern His voice through the many different noises in our lives. God wants us to filter what we hear through His Word to ensure it is consistent with what He has said in the past. Finally, as you hear God's voice, be determined to trust Him and obey all He tells you to do. There may be hard times ahead, but He will navigate you through these hard times to the blessing on the other side!
Trust Him that you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living!
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13.