Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ezekiel 14:1-3 -- On Becoming Able to Listen

"Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?"
Ezekiel 14:1-3

Normally this would be a good thing, right?  Going to the prophet, acknowledging the authority of God, etc.  Usually a good thing to do, and a way to get guidance and help with problems that are bigger than we are.  Except in this case, the people who came to ask weren't prepared.  Their hearts were full of other things that they worshipped instead of God, and they were unrepentant sinners, which is a huge impediment to trying to talk to God.  So, instead of getting the answers that they were seeking from the prophet, God just told him to tell them to repent.  And although that is a message that we often need to hear, it is a hard one for us to accept.
We come before God often, just as these men did, unworthily.  We plead with him to help us or answer our questions... but the message we often get, first, is to repent.  And often it makes us feel lost or angry or rebellious when God tells us this because we feel like we're desperately in trouble and we really need help instantly.  I think what we miss though is that if we don't remove those impediments to communication with God that we won't be able to hear, understand, or act on anything that God tells us.  The reason that we can't get an answer isn't because God hates us.  It is because we have made *ourselves* unable to listen.  We need to make room for God in our hearts, and repent of the things in our lives that are barriers to communication whether through guilt or distraction or just generally deadening our spiritual senses.
Today, let's take a look at our lives and what stands between ourselves and God.  Let's remove the barriers.  Let's clean up our lives.  If we go to God and we are told to repent, instead of feeling lost or angry or unwanted, let's realize that God is trying to help us and answer us.  It's like a phone conversation where our speaker is broken, or a text message that gets lost because our phone hasn't been updated forever.  It isn't about the other person not talking to us.  First we need to fix our phone, and then we can communicate.  And that is what God is telling us... asking us to regain a place in our lives where we spiritually aware enough to listen, and then we can talk.  Sometimes that just takes some serious thought and sincerity in coming back to God and acknowledging our mistakes.  Other times, depending on how deep a hole we have dug for ourselves, it might require a little bit more extraction.  But as soon as we are pointed in the right direction again... as soon as we have removed the impediments in our hearts and made him our top priority again, we will be able to hear God well enough to get his help with the extraction process, and once again start the process of building that relationship and having access to more and more guidance, as we become able to listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews