Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-8:3
“… while you were doing all these things,” declares the Lord, “I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.”
I gave my life to Christ as a young man of 18 years old. Over these past forty-two years I know that God has spoken to me. Many times I chose to listen and respond, but too, too many times I have been guilty of not listening or not really want to hear from God at all.
So many times we say we want to hear from God, but when he answers or he does in fact speak to us, we many times do not listen. His word says that “he called you, but you did not answer.”
There have been times in my life when sin has been present in me. God did speak to me during those times. He would gently say, by the power of his Holy Spirit, Barry, my son, I love you. I am asking you to deal with area of sin and disobedience in your life.”
Too many times, I would hear but would push back and refuse to respond. He would come again and convict my spirit…. “Barry, my son, I love you. I am asking you to deal with this area of sin or disobedience (which is sin) in your life.” Again, I would hear but would resist responding. This dialog would go on for a period of time. My conviction would become greater, but my resistance to change or respond became greater as well.
So many times God was so patient with me. I often wonder why he allowed me to walk in disobedience and sin without zapping me. God is very patient with me for some reason. I know that I have given him every reason not to be, but yet he is.
I also know that there is a day of reckoning. As a parent, I know how this drill goes. We often times tell our kids, “Don’t do that.” We’ll tell them a second time, they still don’t respond. We tell them the third time and yet they still choose their own way. Your next attempt is to do the count to five. (I see you smiling!) One, two, three, four, FIVE! ….. Epic fail!! Finally you reach the point of no return. The steam is coming out your nostrils, you’re on overload, and the penalty stage comes into play.
God has been that way with me many times, maybe he as with you as well. After I ignore his will for my life he reminds me again and again. Finally he says this to me, “Barry, my son, who I love… either you deal with this sin and disobedience in your life or I will.” He is a good father, and I am so thankful that he loves me enough to be this stern.
I was pretty good kid growing up, and I knew when my parents meant business. I also know when my heavenly father means business. It is my desire that I respond at the first call of Christ. Not the second, not the third, fourth or fifth.
The word for today says, “I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen.”
I encourage you today to respond to his voice on the first call to be more sensitive to hearing his voice and to respond accordingly. He really is a good father, and it really is for our good.
Father, forgive me when I refuse to listen to you when you try to speak to me. Forgive me for not wanting to acknowledge my sin and areas of disobedience. I know there are many times when I just don’t really want to change. I want to hear your voice and I do want to respond to you today and always. In your name I pray, Amen.