— Deuteronomy 10:12, 13
— Deuteronomy 4:29 (NKJV)
The fact that our churches are full of affluent members means little but the absence of the poor and outcast reveals much.
— Watchman Nee
— G. K. Chesterton
I spend too much time obsessing over the there and then with far too little focused on the here and now.
We can’t live in His presence without living in the present.
We look back and remember the cross, look forward to the return of our Lord and in all other things look up, taking no thought for tomorrow.
Lord lead us into your way and protect us from our way.
Life is not at all what I thought it would be in my youth. It is surely not what I think it is in my middle age. I suspect it will not actually be what I think in my old age either. The reality that I know little and understand less is looming larger and larger.
Yet, there is still a question we must grapple with while there is time and life left to be lived. What is our life supposed to be? The simple answer is that our life is supposed to be what God created it to be. Of course, this only begs another question. How do we experience the life we were created for?
The path to this life is not what the world teaches, of that we can be sure. The worldly path is to listen to and follow our own heart. Unfortunately, our hearts are exceedingly corrupt and cannot be trusted.
On the other hand, the spiritual path is to listen to and obey our God. Amazingly, it is just that simple. In fact, there are just two things that can hinder us as we pursue the life we were created to live. They are deaf ears that cannot hear His voice and a hard heart that will not obey His words.
Mostly, we don’t realize our own deafness. This is not really as strange as it may seem since so few actually have spiritual ears to hear. If a deaf person had never met someone who could hear, but had contact only with other deaf people, they would think themselves normal and whole. It is when they come into contact with someone who can hear that they realize their own deafness.
Do we unknowingly suffer from spiritual deafness? Have we been so surrounded by it that we think it normal? If so, there is no need to dispair. We begin to hear when we begin to listen. We are all capable of hearing and God is faithful to give us ears to hear when we are willing to use them.
Besides our deafness, we also may not realize we have a hard and unrepentant heart. We think our ways are the right ways but we are only doing what is right in our own eyes. We are unaware of the rock that is our heart.
Have we ever truly experienced anyone with a soft heart, someone who wholeheartedly obeys the words of our God? Would we recognize them if we saw them? Surely, they would stand out as an oddity. Living wholly by faith and obedience, they would seem unstable and foolish to those who operate from mere intellect and worldly wisdom.
If our heart was soft and completely under God’s sway, what would we be like? Are we like that now? Do we even want to be like that or are we satisfied with our hard heart? Is it possible that we are afraid of a soft heart? Could that even be our greatest fear?
Horrifically, our hard hearted state seems to be what we are naturally most comfortable and satisfied with. We are scared to death of becoming all that God would have us to be. Would to God, that our normal state, with which we are most comfortable, would become the very state He desires us to be in and that our greatest fear would become returning to the state we find ourselves in at this very moment.
In order to live the life God desires for us, caution must be laid aside as a hinderance rather than a virtue. We must hear God’s voice and obey.
Lord give us ears to hear and a heart of flesh with which to obey. Replace our hard heart and deaf ears with an obedient heart and ears attuned to your voice.
Submit not to the will of men but to the will of the Father, not to the authority of men but to the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to the leadership of men but to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Then, having done so, we will humbly submit ourselves one to another in the fear of God, serving one another in love.
— Robert Murray McCheyne
— Andrew A. Bonar in reference to Robert Murray McCheyne
— D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Everything in our lives should be creator focused yet we tend to be creation focused.