Categories
Christian Living listening

Selective Listening

It happens every 4th of July – Independence Day here in the USA. In our little hamlet it’s perfectly legal for folks to shoot off fireworks, on the streets and from their back yards. And each passing year the relentless noise seems more startling to my sense of well-being. Time to break out the ear plugs.

So I’m sitting at the kitchen table (plugs in) surfing the net, when my wife comes in and starts rummaging through a cabinet drawer. She looks my way and says something unintelligible. I respond, “If you’re telling me something right now I can’t hear you.” She starts laughing, because she was chiding me (kindly) for misplacing the ink pen that goes in the drawer. Confession: I occasionally employ something called “selective spousal listening.”

This whole scene made me think of something God said to Israel during the prophet Isaiah’s time.

Don’t think the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! It is because of your sins that He doesn’t hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship Him.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (GNT)

Here’s an experiment: Watch television for a week and count the number of times you hear the word “sin.” I suspect you won’t run out of fingers. Transgression of divine law isn’t something the world cares to talk about. But why?

Somehow we know instinctively there’s nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in us. Sin damages our fellowship with our Creator and disrupts the ability to communicate with Him. This causes even unbelievers to scurry for the shadows (John 3:19-21).

Have there been times when you’ve tried to talk with God, but it felt like He wasn’t tuned in? Me too. “Child, if you’re telling me something right now, I can’t hear you.” Of course the Lord isn’t deaf. But He occasionally employs something called “selective divine listening.” Our unconfessed sin plugs His ears.

Thankfully, there is a solution:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

God always listens to prayers that start with, “Sorry, Lord. It was my fault…”

A Parting Thought:

Jesus often slipped away to spend time alone with God (Mark 1:35). He also led a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15). Is there a connection? You and I will never be sinless–this side of heaven. But we would do well to follow Christ’s example.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

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Categories
Christian Blog

Weeds

It happens every spring, intruders invade my lawn. Hardy weeds with sinister names like, Bullnettle and Prickly Lettuce, and ones with cute names, like Chickweed and Goosegrass, try to choke out my beautiful Bermuda.

Enter, the Weed Sheriff. That’s me. You’ve got to stop the trespassers before they go to seed and make those little burrs that stick to your dog’s fur.

No weed is safe in MY yard!

I know, I know, I could treat my whole lawn with some industrial strength herbicide. But I ENJOY weed busting.

When I think of a large yard that has both good green plants and bad, it reminds me of Paul’s advice to his young protege, Timothy.

In a large house there are articles of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV)

Weeds are like sin to the Christian life. Both are instruments of ignoble purposes. Allow me to illustrate with a particularly insightful acrostic:😀

  • Pervasive – the weeds of sin are all too common and hard to stop.
  • Invasive -they pry and protrude into our lives.
  • Evasive -weeds are deceptive and misleading, often camouflaging themselves.

There’s not just PIE in the sky, there’s some right off the back patio. Therefore, daily weed control (confession of sin) is a necessity. My former pastor and mentor, called this cleansing process, God’s ‘washcloth.’

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

Weeding must be intentional.

But how do we tell the grass from the weeds? No worries. The best strategy is to not be the only sheriff in town; ask the Holy Spirit to treat your whole life with a heavenly strength herbicide.

Get rid of the weeds and God’s grass will grow.

Photo by u00c1kos Szabu00f3 on Pexels.com

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galations 5:22-25 (NIV)

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/08/08/weeds/

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Categories
Christian Living Repentance

The Holy North Face

Have you heard the one about the guy who washed his hands too much during the pandemic?

Repentance is like that. Cleansing of sin reveals answers from God

A church where I once served held a unique series of revival meetings. Our pastor called it a “solemn assembly.” One like good king Jehosophat proclaimed for Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:1-34.

The congregation met each evening for worship and prayer, but with no preaching. This went on for a week. As we sought God, confessing our corporate shortcomings, divine answers appeared.

It was a type of two-factor authentication–to use the cyber security lingo.

“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.” Psalm 24 :3-4 (NIV)

Clean hands and a pure heart: the two things needed to climb the holy north face. It’s thought-provoking here that hand washing comes BEFORE heart cleansing. That’s because the purest form of worship is repentance. I experienced this personally during those revival meetings. As my view of God became clearer, my walk with Him grew closer.

Seeking God in earnest reveals the true nature of one’s heart. In my case, there was too much of me. Recognition and a change of heart’s direction cleared the road back to the Father. But this practice hasn’t been a “one and done” event. The narrow path to heaven is susceptible to drifted snow.

Need answers? Invite yourself to a Solemn Assembly–just you and God. It will be a purifying experience. I know this because it was for me.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)