Friday, April 17, 2015

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign

Living Lesson:  Can't You Read The Sign?
By: Christopher Wiles

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"
Chorus lyrics often stick in your head, especially if they are from the 1971 Five Man Electrical Band song "Signs".  Have you ever wondered if God is giving you a sign?  I sure have.
For the last few months I've increasingly avoided technology. I've been pushing myself to give up Facebook for more "face time".  No, we're not talking about the iPhone app.  Instead, I've chosen to try to spend more time face-to-face with my family, our congregation, and members of the community who need the truth and encouragement of God's Word.  Talented with technology?  Yes I am. Wiz with websites?  Check. Good with graphic design?  You bet.  Yet, I have increasingly felt that my best and most effective ministry time is with people, not a screen. 
So why did I get an invitation out-of-the-blue to an all expenses paid trip to speak at Harding University Lectureships in September on the topic of church technology?  Like Moses in Exodus 3:2 who turned aside to the sign of God in the burning bush, I too ask the question, "Why is this happening?"  God, is this some sort of a sign?
Is it a sign that I should be doing more with technology? Or maybe it a sign that I should tell church leaders to trade their Facebook for real face time?  I feel nervous, conflicted, and confused as I try to read this potential sign.  Have you ever been conflicted or confused when trying to discern if something is a sign from God?  Don't worry, you're in good company.  Even Moses was conflicted, confused, and argumentative even when God's voice spoke directly to Moses from the burning bush! 

I come back to the hit song lyrics, "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind, Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"  Perhaps we should quit looking for and trying to interpret what we think might be "signs" around us. We can get caught up in worry while trying to read the supposed signs that we let them consume us, break our minds with worry, and block out the scenery around us.  Rather than relying on the wisdom that we frequently ask for in prayer, we mistakenly turn to sign interpreting as the basis our decision making.
Let's stop getting caught up in all the potential and confusing "signs" but instead have simple faith in Scriptures that with Godly wisdom, we can make good decisions.  Ask God for wisdom in how to best honor Him, then make a decision and do it.  You'll be glad you did.
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." - James 1:5