10/27/10

Tuning the Heart

I played the saxophone for three years, and the violin for one year. But I can't play a note today. I've lost the skill from lack of use. I never wanted to play the saxophone anyway; and the violin? Screeching strings never made my family happy.

I always wanted to play the pan pipes. Still do.

But that aside, my favorite part of orchestra practice was the first few minutes when we tuned up the instruments. The tuning fork sounded and everyone tried to match the perfect, absolute tone.

Just as musical instruments need to be tuned, our hearts should be tuned to God's heart. Too many times, our hearts are tuned to the whims of the day. The culture tries to squeeze us into it's mold, but Paul encourages believers to resist the pull of anything that turns our hearts from God. "Don't become so well adjusted to your culture," he wrote, "that you fit into it without thinking" (Romans 12:2, The Message).

It's not wrong to follow modest fashion and try new things, but conforming to the world is not wise. Rather, we tune our hearts to the Lord ~ to His ways. We seek His will. We tune our hearts to the sweet music of heaven, which is so unlike the music of Earth.

For those unfamiliar with a tuning fork, consider a radio (before digital radio). As we turn the dial, we tune in to a particular station at a particular radio wave frequency. When we reach the right frequency, we eliminate static and "interference" from other stations.

The same is true when we tune in to God's frequency. Everything that doesn't fit into that sweet connection must be eliminated, including interference from competing "stations."

So, how do we tune in? There are many spiritual disciplines that help, including prayer, study of scriptures, meditation, worship, service. And God gives us creative thinking, to discern other ways to connect, perhaps through journaling, fasting, or times of silence and retreat. The important thing is that we set aside time to tune in.

The phrase that helps me tune in to God's frequency is "seeking Him." In the Old Testament, believers were told to seek God's face (1 Chron. 16:10-11; 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 27:8; 105:4). We are to pursue intimate connection with God ~ to tune in to Who He is and His desires for us. The rebellious in heart will not seek God; in fact, there is no room for God in the thoughts of a wicked person (Ps. 10:4).

In the New Testament, the early Christians were also encouraged to "seek the Lord" (Acts 17:27). My favorite scripture about seeking and knowing God is Ephesians 1:17-21, where tuning in to God takes on an incredible, majestic tone.

What helps you tune in to God? How do you seek the Lord in ways that encourage and motivate you to live for Him?

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