Stop Talking. Start Listening.Jon Burgess
4Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.5Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” 8Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them. Mark 9:4-8
Peter was freaking out! Who can blame him? There's Jesus shining brighter then the Sun and Elijah and Moses are standing right next to Him. How does one even process such a glorious event? Start talking right? While Elijah and Moses are talking to Jesus, Peter blurts out the plans for a building project. "We make tents for the presence of God. That's what we do. We've been doing that since God led Israel out of Egypt. It must be what we are to do now." This isn't however, what God wanted to do. In fact God was having the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) confirm that Jesus was doing a new thing. No more tents for God to dwell around us. Through what Jesus was about to do, God would now dwell within us! We would be the new tabernacle of God. Peter couldn't have known that. He was going with what he knew from before and God wanted to do something more. God had to get Peter to stop talking long enough to tell him about it. So God the Father literally had to interrupt Peter to get his attention. "Listen to him." That's it. Don't worry about what happened before. The best way to process the new that God wants to do is to "LISTEN TO HIM."
There are one of two reactions when we are surprised by a new situation or find ourselves at an uncomfortable impasse. We stop talking or we start talking. I, like Peter, am often doing the latter. I can talk through any and every situation I've ever come across. I can often talk myself out of a bad situation and/or talk myself into a better situation. This can serve me well in many areas but not so much in the area of prayer. I can spend so much time talking at prayer meetings about prayer that there's not a whole lot of prayer that actually occurs. Because prayer is an uncomfortable process of slowing down and waiting I feel more productive if I'm saying something. Yet, for this season of Lent and the "40 Days of Seeking" I hear God telling me what He told Peter- "LISTEN TO HIM". When asked to pray about a certain need, listen first, before building your structures of words based on what you knew from the past. Sometimes the most distracting thing in a prayer meeting is me! I like how Henri Nouwen describes learning to pray: "I don't always have wonderful thoughts or feelings when I pray. But I believe the something is happening because God is greater then my mind and heart. The larger mystery of prayer is greater than what I can grasp with my emotional senses or intellectual gifts. I trust that God is greater than me when I dwell - let myself be held- in that place of prayer."
You want to do something new so I will wait on You. You want to meet the need so I will listen and follow Your lead. No matter how uncomfortable my flesh may be in the process of prayer I want the fullness of Your presence not the foolishness of my words to fill the room!