Over the course of the last year, I have come to the conclusion that the news channels are bad for me. Besides their lack of objectivity and trustworthiness, they are often just a series of opinionated people shouting at and over one another. Each side passionately wants to be the “loudest voice in the room” when discussing any topic.
So now I just keep them turned off entirely.
But the problem is that those channels just mirror everyday dialogue in society. Everyone is angry, concerned, or upset about something. And they feel the need to shout about it. Whether they are shouting audibly, via social media, or some other way, they want to be the “loudest voice in the room” on that topic.
And, unlike with the news channels, it is impossible for me to shut out all that noise. I may have to hear a lot of stuff that I don’t want to hear, and that may actually not be bad. I mean, we should listen to conflicting opinions and information if we want to be objective, well informed, and well balanced individuals.
IT’S OUR CHOICE
But we actually do get to choose who we allow to be the “loudest voice in the room”.
And it is imperative that we get that choice, right because it can have a dramatic impact on our minds, hearts, and souls. It can make the difference between good decisions or poor choices. It can lead to a lifetime of fulfillment and satisfaction or a lifetime of regrets. It can be the basis for our success or our failure.
So how do we make that choice?
If you’ve been around church much, you may have heard the term “Spirit led”. It’s a churchy sounding phrase and may seem a little strange in the everyday world that we live in. But it is really simpler than it seems.
It is simply letting God be the “loudest voice in the room”.
It does not preclude us from listening to others.
It does not require us to become monks or nuns meditating for huge chunks of our day.
It does not require proficiency in prayer or Bible study.
It only requires that among the abundant number of voices in our lives we allow God to be the overarching, overriding voice. After all is said and done, we allow His voice to be the “loudest voice in the room”.
HOW DO WE DO THAT?
First and foremost, we must have a personal relationship with God that is only available to us through our faith in Jesus as our Savior. Certainly we can benefit from exercising godly principles in our lives without that relationship, but God will never be the “loudest voice in the room” for us without that relationship:
“Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
And just how do we do that?
I don’t have the ability to reduce the concept of seeking God or seeking to allow God to be the ‘loudest voice in the room” down to a formula. I don’t think anyone else does either. But I do think that there are some steps that may be of help:
1. THE WORDS WRITTEN IN RED
Some years ago, the country music duo Brooks and Dunn had this line in one of their hit songs:
“I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red.”
Perhaps you understood that line, or perhaps you are not a Bible type person and didn’t pay much attention to it. But it is key to allowing God to be the “loudest voice in the room”.
Those words written in red in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in “red letter editions” of the Bible are actual quotes spoken by Jesus and recorded for our benefit. And since Jesus is God in human form, doesn’t it make sense that these words would be a primary avenue to allowing God to be the “loudest voice in the room” for us?
So grab a “red letter edition” of an easy-to-read Bible and begin pouring over the words written in red. Let them become the “loudest voice in the room” for you.
2. THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER
The problem with prayer is that our own voice is often the “loudest voice in the room”. In fact, it is usually the only voice in the room. Just pause for a moment and think about the last time that you prayed:
Who did all the talking?
How can God possibly be the “loudest voice in the room” for us if we do all the talking and don’t allow Him some time to speak.
So the next time you pray, try asking God outright what His thoughts are about the topic that you are praying about. And pause for a couple of minutes to give Him a chance to answer you by bringing a thought to your mind on that topic.
I know this may sound weird or awkward, but the results can be amazing. Give it a try.
3. DON’T GO IT ALONE
Throughout the history found in the Bible, God has always used specific people to speak truth to specific people. We see it in the prophets of the Old Testament and the disciples of the New Testament.
And He has not changed His method of operation today.
I believe that God has anointed and appointed a specific person to speak truth into our lives on His behalf. It is not necessarily a pastor, although I do believe that pastors are anointed and appointed for such purposes. While we must never allow the voice of a pastor to overshadow the voice of God himself, I do believe that it is imperative for each of us to have a Spirit-led personal pastor. One that can lead us in allowing the voice of God to be the “loudest voice in the room”.
But whether it is a pastor or not, I encourage you to seek out someone who will help you to make God the “loudest voice in the room”. I promise you that they are out there.
So if the “loudest voice in the room” for you comes from a bunch of people shouting stressful noise into your life, maybe it’s time to tune them out for a while and “seek first the kingdom of God”.
It’s your choice!