Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sound Barrier

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

-- Psalm 46:10  

Houston... We have a problem.

Those words became famous in April 1970 after an oxygen tank exploded aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft...and nearly ended the lunar mission in disaster. The astronauts were forced to return to earth without ever landing on the moon, and they had to improvise a way to conserve onboard electricity while reducing the buildup of deadly carbon dioxide inside their cabin. More troubling still was that no one could determine if the damaged capsule would withstand the intense heat generated during the re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Earth-based radar stations tracked Apollo 13's progress while NASA stayed in radio contact with the crew. But as expected, communications were lost when super-heated plasma built up around the spacecraft. It wasn't until minutes later that Mission Control heard the astronauts' voices break through the static. Millions of prayers around the world were answered that day as Apollo 13 and its heroic crew splashed down safely to earth.

This story is a realistic word-picture of our relationship with God. That's because even for the most experienced Christ-follower, there are times when prayers to God are met by static. Did He hear us or not? And if He did, why didn't He respond?

What we really want to know is how can we break through this frustrating spiritual barrier. First, it's important to examine ourselves for sin...and then admit it to God if and when we find it. The reason is that the noise of unconfessed sin can drown out what God is trying to tell us. Next, we need to clear the airways by forgiving others for anything we might be holding against them. After all, how can we expect God to forgive us for how we've failed Him if we hold grudges against others for relatively minor issues? 

Next, how are we treating our spouse and children? And are we helping to care for the needy through the riches God has entrusted us to manage? As Christ-followers, we're expected to help those in need with food, shelter and clothing.

Finally...there's the BIG question: Are you a Christ-follower? If not, understand that prayer and communication with God are based on your relationship with Jesus:

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it," Jesus assures us in the Gospel of John.

Are your prayers these days met with static...or is communication with God coming in loud and clear? When you're having trouble breaking through, locating the barrier is sometimes as easy as finding the closest mirror.

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