Sometimes I really miss the old flip phones.
They were so much simpler than the iPhone; offering a lot less distraction and time wasted sifting through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
My favorite part about the flip phone though is that whenever I was frustrated at the end of a call, I could dramatically slam my phone shut.
Seriously, I know I’m not the only one who found that incredibly satisfying.
Furiously pushing a button on a touchscreen just isn’t the same.
This is how I felt that day after getting her voicemail for the third time in a row. I had a few spare moments in my day and desperately needed to talk to my friend and get her advice on something that had be plaguing my thoughts all day long.
I just needed to talk.
I needed to vent.
I needed wise counsel, guidance, and a listening ear.
Yet all I got was her voicemail…over and over again.
I wonder if this is how the two disciples in Luke 24:13-35 felt.
The events of recent days past must have been plaguing their thoughts, dreams, and memories. They had just seen their Teacher, their Master, their Lord, and their friend murdered.
Beaten before their very eyes.
Hung from the cross like a criminal they knew he wasn’t.
Helplessly standing by.
Unsure of what the next couple of days, weeks, months, or years held for them in this disrupted, corrupt, and divided land.
Can you imagine the amount of grief, confusion, questioning, and venting they needed to get off of their chests?
Thus we find them; these two disciples of Jesus walking down the road to Emmaus.
Verse 14 describes them as being deep in conversation with each other; discussing all that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him (Luke 24:15-16).
I think it’s easy for us to read this passage and think to ourselves, “well gosh, how did they not even recognize Jesus? How, if they had spent so much time with him, did they not know his face?”
How, if we have Jesus living and breathing in and through us, do we not recognize His voice?
Consider how many times we, with all good intentions, seek the godly wisdom of others before Wisdom itself?
I will be the first to admit that I do this all the time.
In fact, I did this just the other day.
With confusion and uncertainty looming in front of me, rather than going straight to the only One who could offer any kind of consultation or understanding, I desperately grasped for the advice of others.
Now don’t get me wrong – God puts amazing, wonderful, and very wise people in our lives for this very purpose – to receive wise counsel.
So I am not saying that seeking the advice, guidance, and wisdom of others is not important.
It is very important, but even the most important things can be misprioritized.
We live in a day and age where constant input is the norm. We are persistently feeding our minds with discussion, news feeds, music, podcasts, information, and the opinions of others that we are often kept from recognizing the voice of Jesus.
Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, even though the input they sought from each other as trusted friends was good, it was noise nonetheless.
It’s not just that the disciples didn’t recognize Jesus, they were actually kept from recognizing him; meaning there was something actually hindering their ability to hear the voice of their Teacher.
We often get so distracted and so hung up on getting the advice of others; on hearing their opinion and what they would do in our certain set of circumstances that we end up preventing ourselves from hearing the still, small voice of Jesus.
We end up filling our hearts and minds with others’ interpretation of who God is rather than seeking to know God for ourselves.
When we constantly subject ourselves to these outside sources, two things happen:
- Our minds become numb; and
- We override our ability to be still.
We lose the ability to really listen to what we are taking in and truly digest it and understand it. The voice of God can so easily slip into the background; into the mix of input that we are constantly feeding our minds that we either mistake other voices for that of God’s or miss God’s voice altogether.
We become numb to the awesome and very distinguishable power of His voice while we quickly lose our ability to quiet our thoughts long enough to hear Him.
It wasn’t until these disciples were in communion with Christ; until the bread was broken and the wine passed around, that their eyes were opened (Luke 24:30-31).
This isn’t to say that we necessarily need to partake in eating the bread and drinking the wine to hear God’s voice – though that is a sure way to cleanse the heart and soul.
This is more to say that we need to seek communion with Christ; intimacy, relationship, and time of one-on-one union with Him to train our thoughts to dwell on His still, small voice.
Daily intimacy with Jesus Christ, seeking His guidance and His direction above and before all else, is the first and only true way to cultivate a spirit after God’s own heart.