20 February 2017
Reading: Numbers 7; Psalm 23; Acts 27
Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there. (Numbers 7:89 NLT)
23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ (Acts 27:23-24 NLT)
The church creates a meeting place and organizes regular gatherings so the people can meet with God and hear from God. It’s our part of the equation to prepare the sanctuary gathering place and it’s God’s part to meet with us and speak to hearing hearts.
Reality, however, is that most of life doesn’t happen while we’re sitting in padded chairs in a climate-controlled environment, where everyone has politely turned off their cell phones. Sometimes, as in Paul’s situation, life is happening in a small wooden ship in a great big sea in a seemingly never-ending storm.
In life’s most severe storms, it can be very hard to hear above the screaming voices (especially if one of the screaming voices is my own!), but if I have a listening heart, God will stand at my side on the deck of a storm-tossed ship and speak the words that I and those around me need to hear.
Be assured, child of God, that God’s angel stands at your side in both the sanctuary and the storm. Listen in the sanctuary’s silence and listen in the storm’s thunder for his word that gives faith for the journey. God will speak to your listening, trusting heart.
Father, Please speak to me in the sanctuary and the storm. Help me to enter the place of worship expectantly, with a listening heart. Help me to stand in the storm faithfully, with a listening heart. Help me to hear your voice for me and for those who are counting on me. Amen.