I awoke unusually refreshed, and the daylight seemed brighter than normal. I stretched comfortably, enjoying my sheet’s softness and warmth. Then panic set in as I realized I had overslept—on a workday.
Snatching my phone—that also serves as my alarm—I wondered if the battery had died or if I had forgotten to set the alarm. But the battery was fine, and the alarm reflected properly. Why didn’t I hear it? Then I remembered turning my phone’s volume down the day before while watching a video online. Although the alarm was working, I couldn’t hear it because the low volume wasn’t enough to awaken me.
As I rushed through an abbreviated morning routine, God reminded me how I similarly treat His Spirit’s conviction. His alarm works just fine. Unfortunately, the sound gets diminished as I desensitize myself to His call. His influence remains constantly available, but my daily choices, activities, and lifestyle often numb me to His purifying and renewing work.
Some ways of quenching the Spirit’s convicting influence include:
- Reading trendy magazines with provocative, suggestive articles or ads
- Listening to popular songs containing raunchy, illicit lyrics
- Watching movies with immoral plots that promote promiscuity or today's degenerate culture
- Excusing when people use the Lord's name in vain
- Joke-flirting with a coworker as just "harmless fun"
- Sidestepping the opportunity to witness to a friend in need
- Misusing God-given talents and gifts
Although it’s easy to minimize or justify each of the above, slow erosion still occurs. Step by step, the condoning, excusing, and avoiding turns down the volume knob of the Spirit's voice and quenches His influence to purify, edify, equip, and mature.
God still speaks, but the self-serving and noisy environments created by our choices make Him difficult to hear. Then panic sets in when we spiritually oversleep and find ourselves in our self-made moral quagmires.
But what a sweet sound when tuned in to the Spirit’s call. He guides our direction, aligns our hearts with the Father, protects us from what hinders or harms, comforts and renews us when we’re distressed or discouraged, teaches us His unchanging truth, and promotes our spiritual growth.
Tune in and turn up the volume.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
A lifelong student of Scripture, Nate Stevens has also enjoyed a forty-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of: Matched 4 Life (book and workbook), Deck Time with Jesus, Transformed: Until Christ is Formed in You, Conformed: Into the Likeness of Christ, Informed: Living by God’s Absolute Truth, and God’s Secret Place. He is also a contributing author on several of the Moments Books series (Billy Graham Moments, Romantic Moments, Divine Moments, Spoken Moments, Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, and Broken Moments). He writes online articles for ChristianDevotions.us and KingdomWinds.com, as well as several other ministries. Additionally, he co-founded and leads Fusion, a Christian singles ministry. A popular speaker and teacher at conferences, seminars, and Bible study groups, he speaks on a wide variety of topics. Nate has two adult children. He and his wife, Karen, live near Charlotte, North Carolina. Follow Nate and find more resources at: www.natestevens.net