Hear The Word of The Lord
“Hear the Word of the Lord!” Those words always snap me to attention. It seems they typically precede a warning or pending judgement. What follows should never be taken lightly.
The main source of inspiration for my posts comes from my Bible reading. There’s so much that jumps off the page at me, waiting to be wrapped in a “today’s-world” type of context. God reveals himself through the truth of His Word, making His love for us known. Stepping back, seeing ourselves through the lens of that love is a beautiful and inspiring thing.
There’s a difference, however, when we look at ourselves through the lens of God’s judgement.
This summer, I’ve been reading through books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. It’s difficult to find encouragement in the words of these books. It’s not easy because this lens shines a hard light on so much that we’ve grown too familiar with: finding comfort in our possessions, yielding ourselves unquestioningly to corrupt authority, ignoring the oppressed, complaining and quarreling, having an inflated sense of ourselves. What is there to say about such things?
My Pastor once said, “if you’re having trouble knowing what to say, maybe the Holy Spirit is telling you to keep your mouth shut”. I love that advice. What do you do, though, if you’re flooded with everything you feel the Holy Spirit what’s to say, and are scared of how it might be received?
What if God wants you to know that it’s not OK to publicly rip into people and places with harsh criticism, filling social media with bitter, passive-aggressive complaints, quarreling and gossiping with and about others? What do you say when God is revealing the selfish pride and idolatrous materialism that is manifest when we brag about and find our identity in promotions and material possessions? How do you convey God’s frustration with a people who sell their allegiance to a political party, becoming more an instrument for their platform than for His love and mercy?
Ezekiel received great instruction when told, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.” (Ezekiel 3:10-11).
All too often we read/hear God’s judgment with others in mind, not taking the time to listen for ourselves.
Listen for yourself, Pastors. Listen for yourself, Worship Leaders. Listen for yourself, Sunday-School Teachers. Listen for yourself, Youth Workers. Don’t be so quick to assign God’s judgement to “America”. Don’t assume these messages are solely intended for those who, from your perspective, are the appropriate candidates. Listen for yourself. Hear the Word of the Lord.
Posted on August 18, 2014, in Chris Jones, Christianity and tagged Bible, Complaining, Ezekiel, God, Gossipping, Hearing, Idolatry, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Judgement, Listening, Love, Materialism, Mercy, Prophecy, Prophets. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.