By: Sylvia Reynolds-Blakely
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV
In this passage from Deuteronomy, Moses instructs the Israelites to constantly speak to their children about the ways God wants them to behave. Moses knew that to hear the father's voice was to hear the voice of care, concern, guidance and authority; children were not to avoid words of wisdom spoken by their loving father, but, instead, be so steeped in those words that they reverberated when their father was no longer there.
Did you ever stop to think that God's voice is constantly speaking to us? It is certainly more often than an earthly father speaks to his children! The question is, are we tuned in and positioned to hear even His faintest whispers? How many times have we replaced His thoughts with our own rationalizations, thus drowning out what God wants for us? We can become temporarily deaf and act dumb when we hear Him speak to us FOR someone else: "Take that person a meal; add money to your sister's cash card; call your aunt to check on her; donate extra to that cause at church; speak out on social media for that vulnerable group; sacrifice for someone else's need."
Let me share one of my ‘epic fails’ in this department. I happened to be in the checkout line at Family Dollar a few years back, and I heard Holy Spirit whisper, “Pay for her things.” There were only two of us in line, so I clearly knew who the Lord was talking about. Now, typically when I hear that still clear voice, I do some silly internal diagnostic check (e.g. Do I have enough to pay for her things?), but then I do what He asks. That day, I decided to SELF-evaluate this woman’s NEED for my help, not my ability to pay. As I scanned her expensive ring, nice shoes, and her luxury car keyfob, I instantly made the calculation that she wasn’t in need of my help; God must have meant that word for some other time, not this moment. So I didn’t pay for her things. As I left the store right behind her, I saw her climb into a very new Lexus SUV and smugly said to myself, Yup, I was right. She didn’t need my help! As I drove closer to home, Holy Spirit whispered, “Do you know how many other people that rich woman could have blessed if you had modeled unmerited favor to her?” I have rarely felt so convicted! That afternoon was an unforgettable time spent crying, repenting, and confessing. Listening and not obeying is the same as not listening!
Today I read from "Our Daily Bread" about the widow who provisioned the famished Elijah FIRST before she fed her own family (1 Kings 17:8-16). Her obedience caused a miracle to occur in her supply of flour just when she thought she was down to her last morsel. God told Elijah where to find this woman and that He'd talked to her about providing food for him. But when Elijah met up with the woman, she immediately said she didn't have enough to feed Elijah and all she had was to be used as a last meal for her and her son. Hadn't God told Elijah He'd already spoken with the woman? Why did she act as if God hadn't said a word? Well, we know God can't lie, so the obvious conclusion is the woman chose not to hear what God told her. She had to be convinced by Elijah to do WHAT GOD HAD UNDOUBTEDLY ALREADY TOLD HER TO DO!
Why don't we hear when God speaks the seemingly impossible? Why don't we LISTEN so we can get clear instructions for righteous living (Deuteronomy 6:25)? Why don’t we act immediately when our Heavenly Father gives us a word for someone else? Why do we have to be convinced by a prophet to DO what God has already instructed us to do? In short, why do we play deaf and act dumb? I will posit a few reasons of my own, and you do your soul searching for others:
1. Lack of Fear of the Lord
In Deuteronomy 6:24, Moses reminds us that to obey God and to fear God allow us to prosper and be kept alive; sometimes we need reminding of this basic fact.
2. Resolutely Stiff-necked
In Acts 7:51-53, Stephen, chosen by the apostles, recounted to the high priests of Israel at his trial that by resisting Holy Spirit, their hearts and ears would remain unclean, and they would be unable to obey the law God had given to them.
In his second letter to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 12:20), the apostle Paul knew selfishness was likely rearing its ugly head again, and destructive self-interest was to be guarded against, because it could tear apart the church.
4. Lack of Trust in God
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) says: “TRUST in the LORD with all thy heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path.” When we fully trust Him, we can rest assured that He will not speak a word to us that He is not capable of fulfilling.
So, I invite you to incline your ear to what the Lord is constantly speaking to you each and every moment of each and every day and watch as the miraculous unfolds!
Father, we thank you that you’ve chosen us to partner with you on this portion of our eternal journey. May we be worthy, through our faith in Jesus Christ and the power of Holy Spirit, of what you are constantly speaking into and over us as we endeavor to fulfill our unique assignment. May we lean wholy on you for our strength. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.