It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was rulera over Galilee; his brother Philip was rulerb over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”
(Luke 3:1-6, NLT)
Years ago I was sitting with Henry Blackaby discussing a new discipleship course that was hot off the press called, Experiencing God. As we discussed some of the compelling insights into his curriculum, he began to tell a story about John the Baptist. Referencing the above passage, he noted that the people of the first century (and the reader) would expect that the word of the Lord would come to the high priest at the place of worship. But it didn’t. It came to a crusty prophet who had isolated himself in the wilderness.
The point he was successfully making with me was that God always has something to say if he can just find someone to listen. Jesus frequently said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” We have been designed with the capacity to hear the word of the Lord, but just because one possesses the capacity is no guarantee that they will actually hear and respond to God’s voice.
Even though one may possess the position and place of spiritual leadership he or she can become deaf to God’s speech. Like Annas and Caiaphas, we can become so distracted with the noise of every day religious business as usual that we miss the spiritual implications of our faith and relationship with God.
What are you doing to decrease the din and distraction of culture and place yourself in position to hear what God has to say to you?