Listening to God
Most people including Christians agree that there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to do. Unfortunately the things left undone from yesterday never gets done either, as we always start the next day with the same list we started yesterday with. Whatís even worse, the thing we had to do and didnít get done are not on the list of things we plan to do in the foreseeable future, for the same reason. There is never enough time in the day for everything you have to do because we plan 28 hours of work for every 24-hour day. The outcome of what gets done makes the use of our time an issue to solve.
On the other hand, my wife used to work for a well-known restaurant chain setting up classes to train its crewmembers how to properly handle food. Her job was to coordinate each class and inform everyone concerned with the time and location where the class would be held. What amazed her, was the number of class participants would call her to ask a question that was answered in the letter they was holding in their hand. It made her wonder why people would call her so she would tell them the same information they had in their hand. She felt insulted at times asking me to tell her why people could not use the brain God gave them to read her instructions she sent to them.
At the same time, there may not be enough time in the day for everything you want to do. God on other hand is not insulted if you need to ask questions about what he expects of you provided you make time to listen. The basic issue that needs resolving is why there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to do especially if its time for God? For some people there is never enough time in the day to read the bible or spend a few moments with God. However, should we want to watch the game on TV or go to Hawaii we can make all kinds of time to do those things.
Perhaps we need to consider the things we make time for from Godís perspective. If we can make time for the game on TV or go to Hawaii and canít we find time or place for God, how should he feel? It certainly tells God the priority you have for the things of this world, but it will also leave God with the impression that he is not an important part of your life. Further more, how do we explain to God the importance we have for him and do not have the relationship we know he desires? Hasnít God said,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' Mark 12:30 and "You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
Perhaps we are not taking God seriously or worse yet, donít really want him as our Lord and Savior. Then again you may have as many gods as there are things to do. Remember what God said through Jeremiah.
For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah. Jeremiah 2:28
You must be prudent enough to consider what you are using your time to do. There are so many things to do that you must make time to spend with God. God is a jealous God and the time you spend with him is time he looks forward to.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. Exodus 20:5
Where you spend your time and what you find time for becomes Godís rival and something that competes for your affection. God is jealous for you love, but your devotion is going to the things you find time for and to God its like finding you being intimate with another god.
No one wants to be wrong or in trouble with God by listening to the instructions of another person. However, that is the risk you take when you could have read the bible God provided for you. Christianís need to make the personal commitment to listen to God and prioritize your time in Godís word to understand God and his needs.
When I did not listen to my father my behavior warranted punishment and I was spanked, but I gained a healthy respect for my father. At the same time, I learned to respect my fathers concern that what I did was wrong in his eyes. It wasn't until years later when I had children to rear that I learned why my father was so stern with me. I learned that he loved me and by correcting me as a child I would a sense of discipline after I had left home to make a home with my spouse.
In the same way my father in heaven is seriously concerned over how I behave and rewards me according to the choices I make. I have learned that if my father finds sin in me he will confront me with it and expect me to do something to rectify my deed. Godís discipline requires his children to live by the principles that he knows is right and still allows me to accomplish everything I've been asked to do.
Perhaps the participant who called my wife at work was concerned enough to make sure he was right. Its not that hard to find out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10) as his word is readily available to every person on Earth. If you cannot afford one there are several organizations specially structured to see you have Godís word. In other words Godís word can be bought, it will be given to you or even borrowed from friends.
Still the participant was just out of high school and had the letter in hand, but refuse to make an attempt to understand what was written in that letter. It contained the information to be at the right place at right time. In the same way, the information within the bible offers a plan for anyone who desires to know more about God and what he expects from those seeking him. What most people donít understand is that the Bible comes with something similar a help desk staffed by God himself and through prayer you can contact God to ask the questions you want answers to.
Knowing there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to do is one thing, but making time to ensure God has first place is something we must consider by its priority. When there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to do we must take time to put everything in perspective of its importance. Jesus said something you may want to consider.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
God has given you the opportunity to be the judge and jury deciding his importance to you. Godís word is readily available, so everyone may be able to know the rewards of knowing God. Everyone has to the right to decide if Godís word and plans is foolishness and has the right to ignore his word. However, lets consider the words of a wise man,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
If fools despise the wisdom and discipline of men they will despise God for the same reason. And again,
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God 1 Corinthians 1:18
The fool is not willing to consider that God may be right and will perish due to his overbearing pride. On the other hand the humble are willing participants of Godís plan and are willing to revere and serve God. They are willing to put God at the head of their priority list and seek his righteousness first. They are more than willing to make room for Godís word and use his principles to shape their decisions and work out their salvation accordingly.
When I began to write this article I said Christians agree that there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to do. However, there are also times when the world chokes Godís word out me and I feel the overwhelming need to take care of a pressing problem without Godís help. When I come to my senses I realize that I am more than a conquer in Christ Jesus and that I can over come the world only when I allow God and Jesus Christ to influence what I do.
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