I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews and when I got to chapter 3 I hit the pause button. In Hebrews 3:12-13 the author shares a profound reminder for the Jewish Christians in that day and age which thousands of years later still applies to us:
“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”
Two times in chapter 3 (and then one more time in chapter 4) the author of Hebrews tells his then audience and us now….. Today (there’s that word again) when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.
Do you know what that spurs me on to do? To go be with Jesus. Hearing implies proximity to me. If I am not with Jesus today and the next and so on and in the WORD I can’t hear HIS voice as holy intended. It’s where I deal with my sin + hardening of my heart. If I don’t intentionally silence the noise around me His voice gets drowned out and it becomes easier for me to drift away. That’s why I think the author of Hebrews keeps stressing the idea of "today." It's a daily going off to be with Jesus intentionally and with holy expectation.
In Hebrews 2:1 we read: “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it…”
It’s in his WORD and the surrendered time that we are reminded, convicted, encouraged, challenged, warned & more. It’s a lot harder to drift away when you have the active and living WORD doing those things in your heart through the power of the promised Holy Spirit in us.
While most of us recognize this, putting it into practice can be difficult at times. Surrendering our time to the Lord aka making space amidst the hundreds of activities we’re involved in on a daily basis can seem intimidating. I’m right there with you.
So here are seven practical “guardrails” I have in place to help silence the noise around me so I can better surrender my time to the Lord.
- I choose to be on one social media platform only. I limit the number of people I follow and among those I am actively following those who will spur me on in my faith. My friends + family will catch me up on their lives in person. I don't need to see it day in and day out. This is actually a falsehood of thinking we are in community because we “know” what our people are doing through a post.
- I have seasons of not reading Christian books. Why…you ask? Well sometimes I can read so much about Jesus I can mistakenly believe I have been with Jesus. Also note it’s seasons, it's not an always kinda thing. This is also true for Christian podcasts, and even following influencers who love Jesus. Nothing should take the place of our time with Jesus. If we are in a season of listening more to others then being with Jesus it’s time to reevaluate.
- My inbox is pretty empty. I have unsubscribed to a lot. Even here too much information can leave us stuck and spiraling away from God’s best.
- There are frequent phone breaks. Having my phone silenced and even tucked away when I am with people.
- As a family we aim to not over schedule ourselves. We have a family calendar we intentionally plan for family days and also date days for my husband and I. We pursue time with family/friends those that know Jesus and those that don’t.
- I choose to leave the radio off sometimes so I can give that space + silence to God.
- I aim to stay off my phone while waiting in line or even in the doctor’s office. It’s easy to pull out my phone and scroll mindlessly. Instead, I fight for the posture of being fully present where I am.
None of these are perfect. It’s not a list of rules to be followed or a bunch of “No’s” that I must adhere to. Rather, it gives me protection from the noise that can so easily seep into my day so that I have more opportunities to say “YES” to God & more free time to fix my eyes on Jesus.
By leaving the radio off in the car I am able to be silent and listen to him. If I’m waiting for a long time at a doctor’s office, I choose to chew on some of the Word I’m memorizing rather than thumb-scrolling through Instagram.
You get the picture. These moments may seem small but they add up. My hope is that one of these spurs you on to reclaim more moments for Jesus.
Friend, let us be more intentional about going to be with Jesus. See gaps in your day as an opportunity to invite Him to check your heart. Deal with the sin and any hardening of your heart that may have creeped in. Then create space to do it tomorrow and the next day too. He will respond and a difference will be made. Then encourage others to do the same.