Originally Published on www.DesiringGod.org
If you are past a certain age, or if you are averse to paying for cable or satellite television, you may be familiar with rabbit ears. They are those metal, V-shaped antennas that, when positioned just so, may or may not allow you to receive a few channels on your TV.
I can remember my father adjusting the ears and, when the desired channel appeared with as much clarity as he could finesse, gingerly letting go of the antenna only to have the static return with frustrating obscurity. Many nights we watched Ed Sullivan through the maddening distortion and sound of static.
Static muddles and clouds. The enemy uses the static of self-talk, cheap advice, societal pressures, social media, and busyness, which all make us strain to hear truth. If we are not careful, the static in our hearts and minds will make it difficult to hear God’s voice, especially since he often speaks in tones that are still and small. If we allow the static to persist, we just might give up and tune in to another channel.
Eve, in Genesis 3, experienced static in the garden. The serpent craftily obscured and distorted truth as he asked, “Did God really say . . . ?” And Eve lost satisfaction in her Creator. Cain, in Genesis 4, succumbed to static. Can you picture him, tilling the ground, sweat pouring off his brow, back sore, talking himself out of giving God his best? Then, when God naturally rejected his offering, the static grew louder and culminated in Cain killing his brother out of jealousy and anger. He had stopped revering his Creator.
Job was tormented by the static of his chattering friends and wife, who added more grief to his already sorrowful soul. They made it hard for him to trust his God. King Saul was paralyzed by the static of fear, jealousy, and paranoia, ultimately leading to his dethroning and death. He rejected his Creator. We can fall into strife, despair, and sin too when we allow the static in our minds to tune out the still, true, sure voice of God.
God’s voice is steady and unwavering. But we must quiet ourselves to hear it. Too often, we succumb to the crackling, grace-robbing intensity of the static around and within us:
- The kids watched way too much TV today.
- Look at her children. They are all so clean and perfect. Mine look like they just stepped out of a Dickens novel.
- I wonder if her cherubs ate dry Cocoa Puffs off the floor and shared milk with the dog this morning.
- Am I good enough?
- I can’t serve Christ. I’m not qualified.
- Are people really interested in what I have to say?
- Am I humble enough? Genuine enough?
- They said I did a good job, but I know they were just being polite.
- Did I pray that prayer correctly?
- Oh man, I fell asleep while reading my Bible, again!
- Where did that thought come from? I must be the worst sinner on the planet.
- With my past, nobody could possibly love me.
- I know God loves people, but does he love me? Does he even like me? How can I know for sure?
- Am I really saved?
Even Jesus encountered static. In the wilderness, Satan tried again and again to warp and contort truth in Christ’s mind. Jesus was hungry, tired, and thirsty, and he was being tested. Satan blasted him with static: “Hey, I can see that you’re really hungry. If you’re truly God’s Son, turn these stones into bread. You and I both know you can. Come on up here. Let me see you jump off this temple. I want to see the angels come and catch you. You and I both know they will. Look, I know you’re tired. Why is your Father testing you this way? Tell you what, just worship me and I’ll make you king over all you see. You and I both know that will be better.”
How did Christ clear this static? Scripture, Scripture, and more Scripture. Jesus did not answer Satan without invoking God’s word. Ultimately, Jesus defeated Satan with the inspired authority of God’s very words.
Don’t think for a moment that Christ’s defense worked just because he is the Son of God. Not only do we have unhindered access to Scripture, but we also have access to the same authority to command Satan. We too can say, with confidence and ascendancy, “Be gone, Satan!” The devil will have no choice but to leave because we have Christ dwelling in us with all the power and authority that implies.
Jesus knew that the only absolute, static-clearing truth resides in the high-def clarity of Scripture.
- Feeling condemned? Tune in to Romans 8:1 or Psalm 103:12.
- Fearing that you’re underqualified? Let 2 Corinthians 1:27 bring truth into focus.
- Have a messy past? Allow Hebrews 8:12, Philippians 3:13–14, and Psalm 25:7 to sharpen your perspective.
- Telling yourself you are worthless and disliked by God? Let him clear that up by meditating on Zephaniah 3:17 and John 3:16.
- Wondering if your salvation is a lie? Flip to Philippians 1:6.
When we take our minds off our fears, our doubts, our self, and shift our focus to God, his word, and his promises, we see the picture of our lives with sharp, all-satisfying, God-glorifying clarity.
Consistent, daily Bible intake is essential to infusing truth into our sin-worn minds. If we are in Christ, the static is a lie. The truth will never waver and will not shift. The more we saturate ourselves with God’s word, the less distortion our minds will endure.
You have a direct link to the throne of grace — no rabbit ears required.