Monday, February 2, 2009

Circumstantial Ear Plugs

"...they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery." Exodus 6:9

Hearing from God. Most of us long to hear His voice. We wish for that specific direction that clearly says, "This is the way; walk in it" Isaiah 30:21. We would even be happy with some scribbling in the sand, a talking donkey, a cloud by day or a pillar of fire by night. Some may even be asking, "Does God still speak?"

Dear friend, He does still speak, but maybe like the Israelites there are things that have muffled His voice and your heart isn't prepared to hear from Him.

First of all, we must know God. The basis for conversation is relationship. Have you come with simple, childlike faith to receive Him and then sit and listen at His feet?

Are you being obedient to His Word? As you study His Word, are their commands that you have read that you are not responding to right now? Maybe you need to position yourself in surrender to what you already know before He will give more guidance.

Is pride standing in the way? Do you truly believe God can and will speak to you? Do you have a reverent fear for the Lord? Is there any sin standing in the way of clear communication? Is your heart still in bondage and, like the Israelites, circumstances have clogged your ability to hear?

Did you see what that verse said? The people refused to listen. It wasn't that God wasn't speaking, they weren't listening. They had become too discouraged because of the pain of their situation. Their eyes were no longer on God, so their ears couldn't hear. Overwhelmed by the reality of life, their minds were distracted from their relationship with the Lord. The Message translates 2 Corinthians 7:1 by saying, "Make a clean break from everything that distracts you." The evil one may not be able to completely destroy us, but he certainly can distract us from hearing God's voice.

Thoughts of unjustice, fear, anger, depression etc... can have our minds so filled with negative, unhealthy thinking and so focused on self and situation that we can't begin to hear the whispers of God. The Israelites couldn't see the broader picture and often we can't either. Priscilla Shirer writes, "Rest assured that behind every challenge we will find God orchestrating the circumstances to build us up and bring Himself glory."

Today, I want to encourage you to look past your circumstances. I know, I'm not living in some of your homes, but God is. Let Him hold you and your situations that cloud your view of Him and silence His voice. Don't "refuse to listen". God is working out a grander plan.

May we respond to the Lord as David did, "My heart has heard you say, 'Come and talk with me.' And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming'" (Psalm 27:8).

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Marilyn in Mississippi said...

You do such a good job commenting on the daily readings Joy! I am reading the same Scriptures and yet it seems that I can't put into words my feelings like you can! I love reading what you get from it each day.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've heard from Him today, and the fellowship has been sweet. Everyday with Jesus...


Laura said...

Joy, I love how you direct me to Him. Over and over. The way you use the Word is so beautiful and catching. Makes me want to go look all these scriptures up! Maybe I will!


lisasmith said...

I marked these verses too. Even discussed them with my mother and how they relate to our lives. Beautiful ponderings, Joy!

Have a joy filled week!! :)