13 07 2020

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We are not obligated to listen to every word we may hear! We exist within a culture of noise. In the midst of our social media frenzy, everyone has a revelation, a message, an opinion, a theory and a point to make. Turn on the radio or television, and you can experience a hundred different takes on what is happening all around us and even more hypothesis’ of how we should handle the days to come. We’ve got to learn how to discern who to and who not to listen to. Not every sentence must be recorded and not every command heeded. We can’t help hearing things simply because our ears work. But we should only listen to the timeless truth which has proven to carry the weight of eternal value.

Jesus said that if we are His sheep, we will hang on to His words. We will listen and obey and become faithful on earth to the directions we receive from Heaven. We will never understand God’s will if we neglect God’s word. How can the Bible be a light to our path and a lamp to our feet if we aren’t able to navigate our way through its pages? We spend too much of our energy worrying about words said to us by people who have no invested interest in our wellbeing whatsoever. If only we valued God’s conversations with such high esteem. We aren’t missing out on hearing from the Lord because He isn’t participating in the process. Our souls go blank because we make the Lord compete for our attention and we choose poorly in practicing our social skills spiritually speaking.

The enemy is not going to clear the airwaves so we can listen to the Lord without static or interference. There is always incessant chatter going on to try to keep us from dialing in completely to God’s authoritative presence. There is a story involving Yogi Berra, a well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless talking behind the plate, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to get under Aaron’s skin by saying things like, “Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark.” Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came in, he hit it 500 plus feet into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and crossing home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, “I didn’t come up here to read. I came here to hit!” Are we that focused into keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus that no amount of harassing can hold us off from being holy?

We are living in a day where many Believers are doubting their very purpose on the planet but the last I checked our orders have remain unchanged. We are called by God to let our light so shine before others that they may see Jesus in us and be drawn to wanting to know Him like we do! This is why we can’t be looking to run and hide in the midst of the pandemic and protests! Hatred is running rampant and evil seems to be out of control and the doomsday reports are stirring up fear here and there and everywhere. If ever there was a time for God’s people to practice what Jesus preached, it is now. The problem is, we aren’t getting our cues from Christ. We are behaving way to much like the wandering mob.

God promises to give us clear direction every single day of our lives if we trust in Him with all of our heart and lean not to our own understanding. Will we go beyond just hearing His coaching to actually listening and obeying His Voice? Sitting and taking notes during a sermon is not the same as making the message come alive practically in everyday life. Meetings are fine only if they produce action. Information without transformation results in God somehow missing the program.

Debra Fine wrote about 8-year-old Nick who told his dad about his day: “Dad, I had a great day at school. We had art class today, and I painted a cool picture of the mountains. We played soccer during gym, and I scored a goal. And guess what? They served pizza for lunch.” Looking at his dad whose nose was in the newspaper, Nick said, “Dad, you’re not listening.” His dad replied, “Yes I am, Son. You painted a picture of the mountains, scored a goal in soccer, and had pizza for lunch.” Nicolas was unappeased. “No, Dad; that’s not it. You’re not listening to me with your eyes.”

The eyes have it and if they aren’t fixed on the Jesus that it claims to worship, maybe we aren’t seeing things as they really are. Remember to follow the Power. Remember that if you aren’t playing “Follow The Leader” with Jesus, you need to change direction immediately. Expect distractions but stay committed to what our Shepherd has promised His sheep! I close with the lesson of the postage stamp. It’s true that writing letters may be a lost art, but the point is they have one attribute that all Christians should emulate: they stick to one thing until they get to where they are delivered. God deliver us this day from evil and temptation until we finally arrive to Heaven.      



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