A Still, Small Voice
by John Crosby, Pastor Emeritus
“You are an eternal being destined to flourish in an everlasting universe. . . . anything you are doing is much less significant than what you are becoming.” —Dallas Willard
If only those profound words from Dallas Willard would shape my life more often! I long to be cognizant that I am part of the Kingdom work of the God of the universe. But then the phone rings, and I’m off—pulled away from the eternal by the incessant now.
So how did the Early Church explode from a roomful of scared peasants into the Church today of more than 2.1 billion people who say they are followers of Jesus? The book of Acts chronicles this amazing story, and the heart of this movement can be condensed to two words: Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses. . . . ”—and it happened. Just weeks after that proclamation, we read, “The Jewish leaders were astonished that the apostles were preaching so boldly, seeing that they were uneducated, ordinary men. And they took note that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, emphasis mine).
Does that same Spirit work today, in our church and your life? If so, how? I believe God’s primary voice to me comes in Scripture, embedded in a community that lives it together. Eugene Peterson says it well: “We don’t form our personal spiritual lives out of a random assembly of favorite texts in combination with individual circumstances; we are formed by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the text of Holy Scripture. God does not put us in charge of forming our personal spiritualities. We grow in accordance with the revealed Word implanted in us by the Spirit.”
As I type this, the fire alarm is being tested, going on and on and on . . . if only my spiritual alarm were as loud![inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”- @johnfcrosby”]But I realize that in order to hear God speak, I need quieter voices rather than louder ones, stillness rather than frantic activity, and then obedience to what I have already learned rather than waiting for the silver bullet.[/inlinetweet] As we journey through the book of Acts this summer during worship, my prayer is that you’ll have a growing sense of the work of the Holy Spirit both then and today. May we all seek to recognize that still, small voice of the Spirit this summer—whether near the lakeshore, in the crackling of a bonfire, or in that rare time of solitude, when you can lay your heart before Jesus.