During my study time this week I was prompted to reflect on the effect interference can have on daily life. Although it can take many forms and be examined from several different perspectives, I was particularly interested in how it can break down communication.According to one website, "interference is anything which alters, modifies, or disrupts a signal as it travels along a channel between a source and a receiver. The term typically refers to the addition of unwanted signals to a useful signal." (1) My engineer husband helped me understand this more fully! Together we thought of some everyday illustrations of how we experience disruptions that hinder us from receiving effective signals.
Lately when talking to people on my wireless phone they often say, “Your voice is beginning to fade away,” or “You’re breaking up.” One day mom suddenly couldn’t hear me. I could hear her saying, “Is she still there? I can’t hear her. What’s wrong with the phone?” I had no problem hearing her voice, but somehow the signal became disrupted and it interfered with our ability to communicate.
Something that happens occasionally is interference on TV. It’s frustrating to be watching a great program or movie when “checkerboards” or “white noise” prevent me from seeing or hearing clearly. It better not happen this evening (Saturday) when after the long NHL lockout I finally get to watch my two favourite rivals face off!
On our computers, a virus can produce interference interrupting normal operation which can prevent us from receiving and sending important information. Heavy snow or wind often knocks out power restricting electricity from reaching our homes. The use of certain drugs, prescription or illicit, can hinder our brain from communicating properly with other systems of the body causing illness, injury, or even death.
Not all interference is detrimental however. Antibiotics intervene on our behalf to destroy harmful bacteria that is infecting our body. Traffic signals interrupt the busy commute to work allowing for smoother flow and accident prevention. An air traffic controller may need to interfere with a normal flight path by instructing a pilot to take immediate evasive action thus avoiding a mid-air collision. Linesmen request the power company to temporarily cut electricity to avoid electrocution. Interference can sometimes help steer us clear from the path of disastrous consequences.
In my spiritual life, God has given me a very special gift to guide and direct my every thought, action, and attitude. That gift is His presence in the form of the Holy Spirit. For every person who has received God’s gift of salvation, through Jesus Christ, the Spirit is promised to reside in their inner being. As I Corinthians 6:19 (2) says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” Jesus Christ promised to “ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) In the book of Romans we read, “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (8:16, NLT) I often take this truth for granted and was reminded this week to be more appreciative of God’s ever-present gift.
The work of the Holy Spirit in my life is to teach me in all the things of God, to remind me of everything Jesus has said, to convict me of right and wrong, and to guide me into all truth (John 14:26, 16:8,13) He is continually transforming my inborn conscience to be a vehicle through which He can align my thoughts, desires, attitudes, will, and behaviour to be more like Christ’s. This requires me to open my ears and heart to listen for Him and look for how He is working in my life and the world. It means I must keep the lines of communication with Him clear from any interference that would hinder me from hearing His voice.
What kinds of interference? – unconfessed sin, physical and audible distractions, closed mindedness, pride, stubbornness, an unwilling spirit, refusal to change, relationship breaches, just to name a few.
My desire is to live my life free of that which interferes with my ability to be connected to God through the miraculous gift of His Holy Spirit living in me. I want to be so in harmony with Him that I don’t miss how He is directing my every footstep. As I allow Him to add to my faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love they will keep me “from being ineffective and unproductive in (my) knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:8)
Until next Sunday,
(2) Scriptures from the NIV unless otherwise noted