Jan and I live in a small cottage built during World War II. It was part of an officer's housing unit in a military training facility located in southern Oregon during the war. After the war, our home was purchased at auction and moved to its current location in 1948. Like all older homes, it makes unique sounds. I can tell by the sound of a footstep where someone is walking in our home. We have four wooden gates on our property and each one squeaks and creaks its own sound when opened.
A few nights ago, I was awakened from a dead sleep when a gate just outside our bedroom window made a squeak that would be imperceptible to most people, but I am familiar with its unique sound. When the gate squeaked, I rose from our bed, to listen and to prepare. It would not be a wise move for personal health reasons for anyone to attempt to enter our home without permission at any time, day or night. No other sounds followed. I remained awake for a few more minutes and then went back to sleep.
Sounds of warning in the Spirit can be as quiet as the sound made by our gate. They are not a loud blast from a horn or a strident bell ringing. Sounds of warning made by the Spirit can be like a gentle whisper only heard by those whose ears have been trained and attuned to the voice of God.
There is a great deal of noise being made in our culture. We need discerning ears to navigate through the sound melee to find the substance of truth. God gives us the ability to hear in reverse of how an unredeemed mind hears. An unredeemed mind only hears the noise and assigns a threat level to the loudest noise being made. A redeemed mind hears just the opposite. Redeemed ears hear the gentle whispers of the Spirit embedded in the clamor and take appropriate action.
You have been given the ability to live at rest in the Spirit as I did in natural sleep the night I heard the gate open. The rest of God is a rest that never puts us at risk. It simply leaves most of life’s struggles in the hands of God until He calls us to take appropriate action. God will be faithful to rouse us from a place of rest like it was when I awoke from sleep the night the gate squeaked. In those awakenings, we will hear the kind of warnings a noise-infested culture cannot hear. In these Spirit-empowered warnings are the announcements of the real danger and the specific instructions needed to respond wisely.
If you have been listening and responding to the loudest noise and the repeated false alarms being issued 24/7 by a nervous culture you have not been at peace. Ask God to show you how to rest. In that place of rest trust God to make the gentle sounds of warning that He will be faithful to bring if and when a real danger approaches. Those warnings can be missed if we have our ears tuned only to the never-ending noise of fear and restlessness being produced in culture and sadly, within the Church