I remember a time when, here in these tightly-clustered mountains, an AM/FM radio signal had its work cut out for it. You pretty much had to settle for only being able to pick up the very closest station or two, and not necessarily with clarity. But for me, that didn’t work because I liked the kind of music most local stations didn’t play. So I would lie there in the bed at night, or later on be driving in the car, with some obscure, faraway station playing that was barely audible. Sometimes it would be competing with another station of similar frequency and you could hear both at the same time. So what did I do? I listened THROUGH the interference. I would disregard the static and the other voices and simply focus for as long as I could on that faintly central sound.

Nowadays in the digital age, we hardly ever tune into FM radio; but the reason I am sharing this isn’t so much about the “good old days” of technology but instead about cutting through interference to get to what you desire. Specifically, the voice of God.

In these last days, there is a heightening of spiritual activity. Many voices and much static tries to drown out and overpower and make of no effect the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Word tells us of a famine of the hearing of the Word of God, and I believe in part that is what we are experiencing in the form of static interference in the heavenlies. You are going to hear some loud voices denouncing your God, trying to shame you for believing in Him, or at least trying to shame you for believing EXCLUSIVELY in Him. There’s a lot of distracting noise and drama and chaos that at times causes the message to feel faint or garbled. Praise the Lord for good days, but other days you are going to have to listen THROUGH the interference. You will have to move that antenna around and hold the radio right up to your ear. Part of your survival in the final days before the Lord’s return will be keeping your desire SHARP, your senses focused. The world will offer many options of other gods and even competing similar frequencies so close that at face value it’ll be hard to tell which source you’re hearing…EXCEPT, Jesus assured us that His sheep know His voice and another they will not follow! He even invites us to try the spirits–weigh what you see, hear, and feel against the Word to see if it’s really of God or just another noise.

How badly do you want to hear from God? You can just shut off the receiver and say it’s too hard; there’s too much static and it’s too much trouble for too little return; maybe try again later. Or, you can do as I did with that old radio. When I really focused on what I was listening for, I would become less distracted by the noise and more in tune with what I had DEEP DESIRE to hear. Sure, it’d have been nice to have internet radio in the 1980’s, or at least money to buy the records I couldn’t afford, but that’s beside the point. I thirsted after a certain sound and this was my only means of getting it. There’s a bittersweetness in that hard-sought voice of God. You might wish there were a gallon of that water but you will savor the droplets like a dying man. I made no apology for my affection, and I didn’t let my location, my liabilities, or my lack stop me from listening with all my might. Shouldn’t I at LEAST be willing to put that same diligence toward hearkening to God’s voice that I once did into trying to listen to a little jazz radio, smack dab in the heart of bluegrass country?

Tune out the distractions, for there are many, and LISTEN for God. You won’t be denied.

An Internal Fountain of Youth

Since I’ve reached a certain median age, it seems as if every mail order company in the Continental U.S. has my address or email.  Ten years ago I got trendy, youthful apparel catalogs…now I’m getting life insurance applications, ads for miracle wrinkle and fat erasing creams, booklets full of ugly shoes (which I’ll NEVER be old enough to wear, thank you!), mailers for high-fiber supplements, and yes, brochures for motor scooters.  I haven’t even broken fifty yet and already my demographic has changed.  Even what little television I watch these days seems to be have its audience pegged for the declining years of life, because all the commercials are for prescription medications and accessibility aids.

So, it is true that each year brings changes to our lives…some subtle and others not so much.  The metabolism goes south, our teeth yellow and wear down, we suddenly need either reading glasses or longer arms (smile), and we have to decide to either go gray or fight it to the death.  Our society is oh-so-focused on how youthful we can remain, and suddenly we feel that same peer pressure we thought we’d kicked in high school…the struggle to project an acceptable version of ourselves.

We may or may not choose to try to slow the wheels of time for our outer man.  For some of us, the changes are too painful to bear, and we exhaust our energy and our pocketbooks just to buy one more year, ten more years, of youth and beauty.  Others of us are passively embracing the gradual changes in our appearance, trying to find the humor hidden in the irony of time and gravity.  However the transition might personally affect you, be encouraged…for there’s a part of you that is exempt from the ravages of time:  your spirit man!

The Apostle Paul revealed a priceless nugget when he penned these words:  “Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 AMP)  I love this Scripture in every translation I’ve read, and the Amplified version includes the word “progressively” in both parts of the passage.  I daily witness the outer “progressively” when I have to stand in front of that full-length mirror…but I often fail to acknowledge the INNER “progressively”…the one that says I’m brand-new every morning!  Regenerated.  Reborn.  A fresh layer of spiritual skin as blemish-free as a baby’s.  My spirit man will not get arthritis, age spots, cancer, Alzheimer’s, or just flat-out old.  EVER.

If sickness and age-related conditions have taken their toll on your outer man, I want to encourage you to begin praising the Lord for the one part of your being that cannot be touched by the enemy.  Thank God for His Holy Spirit which dwells in your spirit, and begin declaring Scriptures of renewal even on your outer man as you speak in faith.  True, unless we go out in the Rapture, eventually all of us will have to taste of death…but we do not have to accept just anything and everything that the enemy tries to heap onto our backs.  If you’re even having to face a potentially terminal illness, all the more reason to praise the Lord for that part of you which sickness can never touch—that inner man or woman which lives on even when the outer one starts faltering.  As I write this, I’m praying for you to find the strength to bravely face each day, in sickness or in perfect health…always thankful, always determined, always looking to an eternity beyond this one short life.

When I was meditating on all these things a couple of days ago, I believe the Lord allowed me to get a little revelation about 2 Corinthians 4:16.  When our spirit is daily renewed here, it is as whole and healthy on this side of Heaven as it will be the day we enter eternity! If you’re daily walking with God, feasting on His Word, talking with your Father, allowing His Holy Spirit to dwell within you and guide your words and choices, you are taking on a renewal of spirit every single day.  When we get to eternity, we’ll have that glorified body to match it…but there’s a part of you right now that has absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with it!  So stop obsessing over the outside and see that beautiful, created-in-His-image inside!

Confess and receive your daily renewal.  Allow the Lord to renew your strength like the eagle’s…and when the outside man starts showing his or her age, allow your vision to re-focus on a deeper, more substantial part of who you were created to be.  Rest assured that you have a spirit which, like the mercies of God, is renewed every morning!  How’s THAT for an anti-aging formula?

“He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 AMP)

©2012 Lisa Crum