Pastor's Pen
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August 27, 2015, 10:33 AM

That Little Voice Within

                                                                                                      THAT LITTLE VOICE WITHIN

   It was a car wreck about to happen. At the City Park, across from the Methodist Church, I’m ready to turn right on Main Street. I had already been to an 8:00 A.M. meeting and on my way to the office around 9. Most people are at work by 9 but here comes this white SUV on Main Street going at least 50 MPH (maybe?). He was coming in on my left, and coming fast, which I guess is what got my attention.

   My light turned green and I took my foot off the break and started to move out and it was like a Voice spoke to me: “Stop. This guy is not going to stop for his red light. He’s coming too fast.” So I stopped and the Voice was right. He sped too quickly to even see a light, no matter what color it was! I needed a few seconds to recover before making my turn and a driver behind me honked, one of those sarcastic honks that says: “OK, the light’s green and that means go.” So I went.

   If that SUV had hit the driver’s side door of my car, I can only imagine how far across the inside of my car the grill of the SUV would have traveled! Have you ever heard the noise of a wreck … the metal parts sliding across the asphalt … and then that spooky silence, until the shouts of witnesses begins?

   This little experience has made me think about the way we move around daily in Ardmore and how we bet our very lives that drivers are going to observe traffic lights. We stop on red and use the waiting time to think about what we’re going to be doing at the office, or if I’m going to get a swim or bike ride in today. And when the light turns green, we pull on out. It’s safe, isn’t it? If I’ve got green, the other person’s got red and he’ll stop for it. Right?

   But what if he or she doesn’t? The driving instructors taught us to wait when the light goes green and look both ways before we move on out. And if a Voice speaks to you and says “Stop,” listen to it.

   More about this “Voice” next time.

Part 2

   Last week I talked about how I avoided an auto accident by listening to that little “Voice” within that told me to “Stop, the car coming from your left isn’t going to stop and he’s going really fast for Main Street.”  What is that little “Voice” within that gets our attention? Some people would say that Jesus promised that the Father would send another Advocate to be with us forever. And He also said that this Advocate, or Spirit of truth, would abide with us and be in us (John 14:15-17, 25-27). So that means that the Spirit of Christ abides with and lives within those who follow Christ as their Lord and Savior!

   You know people and so do I who see Jesus as distant, sort of abstract. Jesus is like a piece of modern art that you have trouble relating to. I don’t see this as the Jesus in the Gospels nor of the early church tradition. Jesus is right here, now, and that idea can renew your life. Most Christians that I know, especially those of the Protestant tradition and most Catholics, believe that Jesus is fully human and fully God … and if you believe that, everything in your life changes!

   In the moment when God became flesh, God is with us in a more profound way than ever before. Jesus took on the form of a person in order to forever unite the spiritual and physical – to bridge the gap sin had created. The Bible says, “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23). John’s Gospel has a rather unique way of saying the same, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory as of a father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (1:14).

   Can you imagine the image of God the Father becoming flesh in His Son, Jesus, and sitting beside you … and can be in you … through the Holy Spirit. Take a minute and read John 16:13-15. Jesus is talking in these verses and says that when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth and will be with you. Wow! Jesus sitting beside you, in conversation!  It’s a wonderful picture and is the type of relationship He envisions through the Holy Spirit in us.

   I heard that same little Voice within years ago while playing golf in South Carolina. My good friend, Raymond, and I were on a hole that went down a hill and turned left. Raymond had a perfect drive down the right center of the fairway and I was on the left a few yards further down the fairway about twenty yards away from Raymond. Remember, the hole turns left on your second shot. Raymond had a three-wood and way ready to swing when that little Voice within said to me, “Turn, now!” I did and Raymond’s shot hit just below the back of my left knee on the top of my calf. A quick visit to the hospital and weeks of recovery followed. We believe that little Voice within saved my knee! Do you have a story of the Voice within helping you with something in your life? Share it in your Sunday school class this morning or email your story to me. 08.09.2015

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at: rbgoodnews@yahoo.com

 

 


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