Give me a word, Lord: DEAD ZONE

Colossians 4:2-6 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Cell phones have become indispensable it seems. We carry our phones with us wherever we go throughout the day. We don’t want to miss an important phone call or a text. But every now and then, our cell phone fails us. We may be in an area with a poor signal and our phone doesn’t work. It drops our calls, and we can not even make or receive a simple phone call from these areas. I call this the “dead zone”. Our house has a big metal roof, and pretty much the entire house is a dead zone when it comes to cell phone reception. There are certain areas near doors or windows in which the phone will work properly, but a lot of times, we have to make and receive our calls outdoors. (We don’t even want to talk about internet reception.) On my drive to and from work, there is one area on the highway that is an absolute dead zone. I always catch myself telling my friends or family on the other end of the line, “I’m going to lose you. I’m about to drive through my dead zone.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like being in a dead zone.

I was thinking about those dead zones this morning, and this made me ponder the thought of other dead zones in our lives. I can’t help but think of those spiritual dead zones that I’ve encountered through the years. I can recall times that I have been pleasantly involved in conversation and interaction with the Father, and other times in which I seemed to have entered the spiritual dead zone. The problem at those times, however, was not that of a poor cell phone signal. It was a problem of a poor Christian signal. Yes, I confess, that those dead zone periods were due to my own signal growing weak. I wasn’t spending time reaching out to God. I wasn’t calling on Him, sharing the praises in my life, sharing my despairs, sharing my hopes and dreams, and sharing everything that was going on in my life. God had not turned off the signal. He had not failed to answer the call, but rather I wasn’t attempting to even make an effort to place the phone call.

As I said previously, I don’t really like being in a dead zone. I don’t like having my phone calls dropped or having to stand on one foot with one arm in the air trying to reach a cellular signal, but more so than that, I really, truly dislike being in a spiritual dead zone. I think that may be the loneliest place in the world. So how then do we keep a strong signal? How do we stay out of the spiritual dead zone? We simply must make an effort to stay connected. For you see, God keeps an open line for each and everyone of us 24/7. The reception is always great, and He is always there. It is us who produce a lapse in reception or signal. To prevent ourselves from entering the spiritual dead zone, we must stay connected.

First and foremost, we must build a daily practice of prayer. In order to stay connected spiritually, we have to talk to God on a regular basis. Set aside some quiet time each day to really spend time talking to the Savior. Yes, He already knows what is going on in our lives, but He wants us to share those details with Him. He wants a personal relationship with each of us. We have to get down on our knees and share ourselves with Him. How can we connect with someone if we never spend time in their presence, if we never talk to them, or if we never share ourselves with them? We can’t. Make prayer a priority in your life. Work prayer into your daily schedule. You may have a quiet time first thing in the morning or late at night, or you may even find that you do as I do and have a continual prayer that begins when I wake up in the morning and continues throughout my day and even through the night if I awaken during my sleep. We must connect through prayer. It is imperative!

Secondly, we must build a practice of daily scripture reading. I have often heard people say that God doesn’t speak to them. Well, personally, I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but I have heard Him speak. Sometimes it is that still small voice within me urging me in a certain direction, but other times, it is through His Word. When we read the Bible, the living Word of God comes to life. It tells us how we should live out life, and it teaches us what is right and what is wrong. The scripture shows us how to love like Jesus loves, and it convicts us when we are walking outside of God’s plan for our lives. Yes, we must stay connected through scripture.

Finally, we must stay connected with fellow believers. This is very important. Can you be a Christian and not go to church? I suppose you can, but I can’t even imagine life without my faith family. We need others to walk alongside us on our faith journeys. For one, our Christian brothers and sisters help to keep us accountable in our actions and our walk with Christ. Also, our faith family will lift us up when we are feeling weak, down, or discouraged. Faith filled friends help us to grow in our faith and knowledge in Christ, and they help keep us grounded and rooted in Christ. We need relationships with fellow believers. Christ set the example for us as He surrounded Himself with disciples and friends. We were created to be relational people. I absolutely believe that connection with a church family is necessary in helping us to remain connected to Christ.

My friends, if you are in a spiritual dead zone, today is the day to get out of that zone. Call out to Christ. I promise you that there won’t be any static on the line. He is willing and able to take your call, and I know He is ready to hear from you! Won’t you connect today?

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