Hearing, I Cannot Hear

I can talk to God without listening for Him. I can learn all there is to learn about Him without applying what I learn. Hypocrites are those who talk without listening, who learn without applying, and then claim to hear God's voice and follow His precepts. I don't want to be a hypocrite so I will explain my behaviour (and lack of it) by saying that talking and learning aren't all that important anyway—it's the relationship that counts.

How can I have a relationship with someone I talk to, but don't listen to? How can I have a relationship with someone I research but never respond to? How can I listen if I never bother to enter into conversation? How can I respond if I have never collected enough information to base that response on?

I need to learn to talk to God, not just to dump my "God bless…" or "Be with…" or "You just gotta get me out of…" on, but to acknowledge Who He is and submit myself to Him. Then I need to listen for His voice. The most reliable way to hear God's voice is through an intimate interaction with His Word. Just as parents have long since abandoned their children's spiritual education to outsiders instead of being the spiritual leaders in the home, so we have turned our own spiritual education over to others. Rather than dig into the Word of God for ourselves, we have let others do the digging for us. Often, instead of drinking from a well of pure water, we have been content to fill ourselves with the stagnant and contaminated water that others have muddied up with their own dirty feet. And we think the stuff tastes wonderful!


Jeremiah writes: "'Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror,' declares the Lord. 'My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water'" —Jeremiah 2:12, 13, NIV.

It's been a long time since I've heard a new convert mention confession of sin when he talks about his coming to faith. I hear that hell is no longer a place but a "condition," a state of mind. We claim that He walks with us even while we are walking away from Him, We say He is our God even when other gods consume our lives. We honour Him with second-best, second-hand, and second-place, claiming "it's" all about Him when in the depths of our being we know we live as though everything is all about us.

I'd like to say that I am not pointing any fingers. That would not be true. But I point that one finger knowing that there are others pointing right back at me. I am afraid.  I am afraid for myself. The Lord knows my sin. And while I might glibly say that He knows me better than I know myself and hope for continued ignorance on my part, I can't ignore what I already do know to be true about myself. Be merciful to me too, a sinner, Oh God.

A rant? A hormonal imbalance? Too little sleep? A sign of depression? A bad attitude? Holier than thou? A judgmental spirit? Call it what you will. It's what I hear when I listen. It what sticks when I learn from His Word. I would like to escape it, but I can't. It screams from the pages of Scripture: "I love you; now, if you love me…"

Comments

  1. Lynda, once again you've evoked a need in me to spend more time in prayer, more time in His Word and more time following Him. Praise God!

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