March 17, 2014
By now, you should know I really push decision-making as the most important skill you and I could ever develop. I have 3 awesome daughters aged 21, 19, and 13 years old. They’re really great kids, and (usually) I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. But all parents wonder at times about the decisions their children make. When mine choose impulsive, shortsighted, me-centered, immediately gratifying, or flat out “what were you thinking” wrong decisions, they certainly weren’t listening to the advice I gave them.
Then to whom were they listening, if not to my words? And why were they listening to that erroneous advice? That “advisor” doesn’t love them as much as I do … doesn’t know them as well as I do … doesn’t want the best for them as much as I do … won’t risk it all for their safety and survival like I will. How dumb can my kids be, accepting advice from peers, people, or media that function like a random decision-spewing slot machine that is minimally invested in them?
WOW, glad I finally fixed my kids and let them know who to follow! Now, what about you? Don’t we have the same problems as our kids? When we make decisions, whose instructions are we following? Each one of us will make over 25,000 decisions per day … seriously. And that is actually a conservative estimate. As you make those decisions, to which voice will you listen? Will it be the messages from this crazy world, from some politician, or from the latest TV gurus spouting their newly discovered mantras about where happiness is found? Does Satan’s brainwashing tickle your fancy; do his impostors and fraudulent options get you off stride? How about your flesh and its “MY kingdom come, my will be done” agenda?
Or do you seek to hear your loving Father, His instruction manual, The Holy Bible, and the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice? In today’s passage, God is lamenting the fact that no one is listening. You can hear the sadness in His heart as He speaks these words. He pleads with His people: Please listen to Me! Not for His benefit, but theirs.
Sadly, He is speaking to us, too! Why? Because He loves you and wants to save you from hardship and its consequences. We parents give our kids instructions and pointers so they can enjoy long term fulfillment and satisfaction. Well, God actually knows more than any parent. He sees and knows the future. He created you, so He knows exactly what you need and the way to meet that need.
Jesus said, “My sheep, listen to My voice.” These words were directed to His people and came from the love in His heart. God wants all of His children to listen before it’s too late.
Today, listen to God during your prayer time … but especially throughout your day. The Holy Spirit is constantly teaching, guiding, coaching, and warning us. God wants us to talk to Him, and to listen to His response. Practice being still. Clear the clutter that muffles and interferes with God’s voice. Open The Holy Bible and “read” His voice. It’s all about choices. Whether you listen to God’s voice and instruction manual or you listen to all the man-made attempts to devise answers is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and my Lord, I am guilty of listening to some other voice and giving it, not You, lordship over my life. Please forgive me. I know You have so much You are telling me through Your Holy Spirit in me, through The Holy Bible, and through my circumstances. Please help me open my heart, and tune my mind to Your frequency. I know Your plans for me are way better than the ones I have for myself. So in that moment of temptation, please give me eyes that see and follow You. I pray this in the name of the perfect listener, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! … But no, my people wouldn’t listen … Oh, that my people would listen to me! Psalm 81:8, 11, 13
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening. Psalm 22:24