“KRISIS” OF MISCOMMUNICATION
Krisis is a Greek word that means separation or divide. Our faiths are constantly put to the test, exposed for what they truly are — founded or unfounded, informed or uninformed, mature or infantile, powerful or weak. Faith is never without content, and content requires COMMUNICATION.
Through today’s technology, we have the illusion of communication. Social media has become a substitute for face-to-face interaction, which often leaves us isolated, discontent and misunderstood. Lack of communication can create a crisis, and only clear communication can end this crisis.
A common frustration for Christians is the dissatisfaction in our line of communication with God. We often feel that God is silent, that he is hiding from us. But is this really the case?
WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE TELL US?
Hebrews 1:1-4 – “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat own at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
- “God spoke” – He is not silent.
- For a people who were wondering “where is God?” and “why is he silent?”, the preacher of Hebrews reminds the church in Rome that God is a God who speaks; he has always spoken.
- God is not an idea to be thought about, he is a personal being that speaks.
- God has repeatedly disclosed himself because he wants to be known.
- “at many times” – God has been speaking since the beginning.
- The Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. The diversity and unity of the Bible points to a single transcendent author which is God.
- “in many ways” – Out of love, God communicates to us in many ways.
- God has spoken to us by direct verbal communication (think of Moses and burning bush).
- God has spoken in his saving action in history (think of the Exodus)
- God has spoken though the prophets of the old testament and through the apostles of the new testament)
- All for the sake of seeking after those he loves — us
Genesis 3 – The Fall – Adam and Eve lived in perfect communication with God until they disobeyed one of his clear instructions. When they realized their sin and rebellion, THEY HID. Hiding always disrupts clear communication.
- So what did God do? – God SOUGHT THEM OUT and overcame the man-made hurdle to communication and God re-established the connection.
Adam and Eve hid, while God sought after them. Isn’t this perhaps exactly what is happening now, in 2015? Perhaps God is not hiding from us, but we are still, like Adam and Eve, hiding from God? Perhaps we don’t even realize we are hiding because it has become our default posture toward God. Humanity has been hiding from God since the very beginning, not the other way around.
DELIVERING AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE
What do you do when you have a very important message to deliver? You just keep calling until someone picks up. But what if no one picks up? What if the line cuts out and disconnects and the usual form of communication is not working?
When you love someone, you don’t give up even if the phone lines all go down. You find another way to deliver the message. Your love compels you. This is exactly what God did with humanity.
Look back at Hebrews 1:1 – “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
- “by his Son” – is not the same as “through” his Son
- It is more than his teaching. Jesus was not just a prophet or a great teacher or a divine sage. He is God the Son.
- Which means Jesus is the message which God the Father has spoken to us. Jesus is the final and ultimate revelation of God himself, of his nature, power, and presence in a form that we can understand because Jesus was fully human and fully God. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory.
WHAT DOES FAILED COMMUNICATION LEAD TO?
Sin is rooted in failed communication. And our failure to hear from God breeds three unhealthy phenomenon:
- Distrust – Not believing and trusting in God’s promises leads us to take matters into our own hands, attempting to make our own way to liberation, happiness and salvation. Sin is ultimately rooted in a distrust of God, of God’s way, in favor of our own way. And it begins because we do not hear the message that God has been speaking to us.
- Lopsided Perspective – We tend toward a one-sided view of God, his wrath or his love. But the TRUTH is somewhere in the middle. Jesus reveals this excluded middle. The cross is a picture of God’s wrath towards sin, poured out on himself (the Son) in loving mercy for humanity.
- Missing the Main Point – The Jewish Christians in both Rome and elsewhere always struggled with the human propensity to turn life with God into a religious facade: rituals, working to please God, going through the motions.
– Do you ever find yourself in a vicious cycle of failed New Years resolutions?
– Do you believe God only loves some future version of you?
– Are you tired of attempting to make yourself worthy of God?
If so, STOP! Because you have missed the main point: Jesus is the message God has communicated to us. The message is not that you need to fix yourself, but that you are broken by the reality of sin that we all endure and it is only by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that you can be made whole.
Hebrews 10:14 – “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Sin is a reality, but Jesus dealt with it on the cross. It is finished.
The thing that keeps us from hearing God clearly — SIN — has been removed by God through his Son, Jesus.
God knows that our sin has created a communication problem between us and him And he realizes that this communication problem causes a CRISIS OF FAITH that leads us to trust everything else except Him; but he is the only object that our faith was ever meant to have.
But rather than give up on us, in unfathomable love, God went to the greatest lengths to make sure his grace was heard loud and clear. He sent his Son, God in the flesh, to live among us, to die in our place, to taste death on our behalf. His death in space time history communicates his love and mercy in a ways that words never could. His resurrection three days later communicates his power over every foe and his power to restore any lost connection. Our sinful choices no longer mean that communication with God is impossible. If we accept this offer of restoration by faith, the we know for certain that the phone bill has already been paid in full. Forever.
Are you experiencing a crisis of faith due to failed communication?
Do you find yourself distrusting God? Is your view of God lopsided? Have you missed the main point of the Gospel? Is it leading to despair? Are you discontent, disillusioned, bitter, angry, frustrated with God?
God is not a God of chaos or confusion or crisis, but a God of rest, peace, and clarity. He has always been trying to communicate with you out of love. And this love propels him to communicate to you even now, in the midst of your crisis.
God is speaking, are you listening?
1. Apply these keys to clear communication:
- ZOOM OUT – In the midst of a crisis. Look at the constant message God has delivered over thousands of years through the prophets, the apostles and Jesus.
- APPLY THE JESUS FILTER – Look at everything God has done and said through the lens of Jesus. Being the ultimate revelation of God, Jesus sheds light on all of God’s other communication. God never contradicts himself. Read the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John to learn more about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
- TURN IT DOWN – Get into the right posture of hearing — clear the distractions. Turn down the music, give yourself space and time to hear from God, whether that is by prayer, reading the Scriptures, or by creating time in your schedule to worship and discuss Jesus in community. Join a Fellowship Group
2. Converse about this topic with others:
- How does Genesis 3 shed light on our human tendency to hide?
- What does it look like for you to come out of hiding?
3. Reflect personally on why you might be experiencing a crisis of faith:
- How is your communication with God?
- In what parts of your life are you having a hard time trusting in the promises that God has communicated?
4. Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.