Thursday, January 7, 2021

Are you listening or doing too much talking?

Are you listening or doing too much talking?

We Live by Revelation

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; 
but happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 29:18

The world operates on vision. God's people live by revelation. The world seeks grand and noble purposes and goals to achieve. People dream up the greatest and most satisfying things in which they can invest their lives. Institutions establish goals and objectives and then organize themselves to achieve them. God's people function in a radically different way. Christians arrange their lives based on the revelation of God, regardless of whether it makes sense to them. God does not ask for our opinion about what is best for our future, our family, our church, or our country. He already knows! What God wants is to get the attention of His people and reveal to us what is on His heart and what is His will, for God's ways are not our ways! (Isa. 55:8–9).

Whenever people do not base their lives on God's revelation, they “cast off restraint.” That is, they do what is right in their own eyes. They set their goals, arrange their agendas, and then pray for God's blessings. Some Christians are living far outside the will of God, yet they have the audacity to pray and ask God to bless their efforts!
The only way for you to know God's will is for Him to reveal it to you. You will never discover it on your own. When you hear from the Father, you have an immediate agenda for your life: obedience. As the writer of Proverbs observed: “Happy is he who keeps the law.” - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

So when you are praying, are you at all listening?  I confess there are many times when I am not.  But there's other times where words to listen to aren't necessary.  I lay out what's on my heart and mind, Jesus just puts an arm around me and nothing is said.  

Sometimes, yes, Jesus does verbally speak to me.  The key problem is often getting me to be quiet.  

But what struck me about today's devotional is the section about a certain kind of people. 

"Whenever people do not base their lives on God's revelation, they “cast off restraint.” That is, they do what is right in their own eyes. They set their goals, arrange their agendas, and then pray for God's blessings. Some Christians are living far outside the will of God, yet they have the audacity to pray and ask God to bless their efforts!"

The parts in bold are my doing.  Christian people have Godly goals.  In speech, conduct etc we are to be Holy as He is Holy.   Yet I see so many people claiming to be Christians who swear like just about anyone else in this world.  Their conduct says they live for themselves.  They refuse to give up various things in this world in exchange for a Godly life. 

God is still working on me.  There are many many areas where I was taught to let go of things. I won't be the one to say that there isn't more, because there obviously is, I am a work in progress with Jesus. 

There's passages in Scripture that warn against grieving the Holy Spirit.  Yet many professing Christians are doing this daily with no regard to what they are doing to themselves and their relationship with Jesus.  Their personal excuses for their behavior justify their behavior. Calling some things "just a bad habit".  They never ask God for help in those areas because they are both comfortable in those sinful situations and at the same time afraid of how it will change them. 

The Prodigal Son was at his end.  He was to the point that personal pet peeves and desires meant nothing anymore. His desires that were driving him were finally seen as futile. 

Dear Reader don't let yourself go so far that absolute brokenness is your state of being before God.  Turn back from your ways before it gets that far.  You who claim to be in Christ, are HIS workmanship.  Whether or not it's likeable, or desirable to you, Jesus, the Potter, WILL make the clay, you, into a holy vessel. 

In part of Spurgeon's devotional, we read this:

The apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 1:21 mean more than most people think. The words imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ—actually, that his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, Paul ate, drank, and slept eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business—are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and family advantage? “Is that a dishonorable reason?” you ask. For Christians it is. We profess to live for Christ; how can we live for anything else without committing a spiritual adultery?

The worst times of offense in the Bible are when the people of God, Israel, lived like the rest of the world.  Let that sink in. 

Really.  Let that sink in.  The worst times of offense were when they turned from a life lived for God and lived for themselves. They rebelled and rejected Christ as ruling over them even with the Lord there WITH them. 

Are the things of this world more important to you than you realize? 

Are your prayers all about how things aren't going the way you want and you want God to fix it?

Are your prayers lacking the giving of thanks?

Is Jesus your closest, most personal friend, or is He in all reality your Butler? Do you treat Him like that?  Do you treat Jesus like He's some genie or an emergency responder?  Totally impersonal to you?  Is living your life all about what you can get out of it more important than what He wants you to do?

Are you, the clay, telling the potter how to do His job?

Paul's example is to say no to self. Jesus's example is to deny yourself take up your cross and follow Him. 

Are there things in your life that have caused you to commit Spiritual adultery?

It can be anything or anyone. Including and especially family. Sports makes adulterers out of millions of people and they don't even suspect it. Zeal, drive and devotion that belongs to God is given to a team...and people excuse the behavior!  They are no where near as passionate about their relationship with Jesus as they are for 3 or 4 hours in a stadium or in front of a television.  You say something about their team and it's time to trash you. You say something about God and they don't even shrug their shoulders at it. 

Where are you in your life? Are you really praying or giving your Butler your advice and marching orders? 

Is your life full of you, your hobbies, your teams, everything but lived for God?

Jesus is to believers, their Lord and Savior. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is NOT there to take YOUR orders. 
He is on the Throne, you are not.
He most certainly is not your Butler or genie.  

He has clearly said He wants a relationship with you.  David was known as a man after God's own heart. Moses was known as the friend of God.  

Slap a label on you...describing your walk with God, what would it say?

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