The next time you’re in your car, take a look at the radio in the dash. You see that it has two separate frequency bands: AM and FM. It may also have a setting for satellite radio (Sirius XM) and a slot for a CD and maybe even a USB port for your smartphone, but for now, we’re just talking about the radio.
Look at all the choices you have on the AM and FM bands. In fact, just for the fun of it, turn the radio on and tune it from left to right, one click at a time. Even if you live in a remote, rural area, you literally have dozens of options. If you live in a major city, you have even more to choose from. Okay, now turn your radio off.
I have a very important question for you. Even though your radio is in the “off” position, are all those stations still transmitting? Yes. Even though you cannot hear a thing, are they still sending out their words and music on the airwaves? Yes. And does the fact that you have your radio off have any effect on the signal? Absolutely not. It’s out there, but it’s not being received.
The Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2 are important. Their message is as real as a station faithfully sending out a signal filled with informative voices and pleasant music but falling on “deaf” radios. If we want to hear God’s words, we’re going to have to consciously decide and deliberately adjust our souls’ receivers.
If we don’t know exactly how to do this “tuning,” we need to ask Him to help us push out the distractions; to turn the knob to the right channel…to hear His voice.
Paul confidently informed his readers, “We speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” (2:13). If we want to hear God’s Spirit, if we want Him to lead us, to inform us, and to encourage us, we’d better tune our radio to His frequency.
This is a profound and powerful thing. If we miss this, our life of faith will only be religion. There will be no passion, no fulfillment, no joy, no purpose, no direction, no hope . . . basically, nothing.
Not surprisingly, this truth doesn’t only relate to our relationship with our Heavenly Father; it’s a perfect illustration of our ability to effectively communicate with our children.
Picture a family sitting around a table at your favorite restaurant. What do you see? Do you see engaging conversation? Do you hear spontaneous laughter? Do you sense love and empathy? Or do they look like a bunch of radios in the “off” position with plenty of things to transmit, but no receivers in the correct position? Or worse, are they sitting there with each other, but enraptured in their own worlds, staring into their little electronic screens?
Is your radio on? If it is, what’s it tuned to? Are you listening to elevator music when you ought to be listening carefully to God’s omnipotent voice? Are you listening to a newscast or reading emails when you ought to be tuned in to your children?
Take another look at your radio. Instead of seeing the numbers on the AM and FM bands, see the Holy Spirit. See your wife. See your children. See your friends. See your colleagues at work. See those in your world who are in need.
Go ahead. Turn it on. Tune it in. Enjoy each of these wonderful stations. They’re waiting for you to receive their signals.