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Are you listening to God’s Gongs and Chimes?

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A couple of weeks ago, we rolled out our new bell system on campus. Students and staff hear a gong sound when a class is over and a chime sound when a class begins. Even if everyone’s watch has a different time, the gong or chime makes for clear, simple, and obvious boundaries.

I wonder what life would be like if God used a gong sound to let us know when it is time to END a task, a focus, a path, a relationship, a job, or a life season. Bong! It’s time to stop worrying about my daughter. Bong! It’s time to stop binge-watching Netflix. Bong! It’s time to end an unhealthy relationship with a friend who encourages ungodly behavior.  Surely, we would stop our thoughts, words or deeds if it was clear, simple and obvious to us that God wanted us to stop them. Wouldn’t we?

I wonder what life would be like if God used a chime sound to let us know when it is time to START a task, a focus, a path, a relationship, a job, or a life season. Ding Dong! It’s time to pray for your son. Ding Dong! It’s time to start reading the Bible every morning before you begin your day. Ding Dong! It’s time for me to be a friend who will point others to Jesus. Surely, we would start thinking, saying, and doing things if is was clear, simple, and obvious to us that God wanted us to start them. Wouldn’t we?

Paul reminds us in Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  Yes, this means we are not doing something we should be starting or we are doing something we should be stopping. Basically, we get our bongs and ding dongs mixed up. This mixup would cause chaos in our school hallways and it will lead to chaos in our lives too.

God has already given us clear, simple, and obvious boundaries for living even if the world doesn’t see them or value them. Our sinful nature leads us to test these limits and even if we know what is right by God’s standards, we sometimes pretend to not hear the sound of God’s voice in our lives. Our fears, insecurities, busy lives, or selfishness can also cause us to not do what He is calling us to do.  

Here’s the Good News! Everyday we have a fresh opportunity to follow Him in thought, word, and deed.  The prophet Jeremiah reminds us in Lamentations 3:23, “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”

Prayerfully consider setting two alarms on your phone or watch to ring daily. I just set my alarm to ring a gong sound at 9:00 p.m. to remind me to review the day, confess, repent, and be committed to stop doing something that God has revealed to me as sinful or not in His plans for me right now. I also set an alarm to chime at 5:30 a.m. to remind me to begin each day in surrender to my Heavenly Father, seeking Him and His ways above my plans, priorities, or desires.

Today, listen to the sound of the gong. Bong! What is God telling you to stop doing?

Today, listen to the sound of the chime. Ding Dong! What is God telling you to start doing?