Listening?

April 27, 2005
by Rod Marshall

Psalm 95:7-8 – For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness. (ESV)

I hope to reach the terminus of my Bible journey as I read from the book of Genesis towards Revelation. In the past, it has been a familiar task. If I am honest, though, it is perhaps not now as familiar to me as it once was. Sporadically, I have shed some of the enthusiasm I once had when I first discovered that the prayerful reading of the pages of Scripture revealed glimpses of God's nature.

Last night was one of those occasions. My problem was that I was not truly focused on the task: reading the Bible. My lack of prayerful preparation had prevented me from going deeper into the Word.

I can imagine the order ringing out from below: "Christian without prayer or preparation reading the Bible — send out the befuddlers!" They were to build on my folly by speaking a disparaging word or two to tell me that it was all a waste of my time.

In a reaction, a word from God rose up to the surface of my being: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot." Found in Revelation 3:15, it was originally spoken to the church of Laodicea, and stored in my mind from an earlier reading. Like them, I was in danger, too cool in my attitude towards my God, and like them, possibly no longer enjoying His loving embrace. They had tolerated compromise and indifference in their relationship with God. Quickly, I consciously went back into God's presence to offer a more focused heart and mind. There I found Him waiting.

I would like to think that He smiled approvingly, as a father who sees, in the action of His child, evidence that he or she has heard and understood His call to wisdom — the call sounded in today's Scripture.

If unwittingly, like me, you find yourself with some apathy, hear the call to wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You are not the distant and indifferent God some would tempt us to believe in. Guide us as we travel through today; encourage us to be whole-hearted for Your kingdom, trusting in Your love. May Your fragrance fill our being. Please promote in us a pleasing desire for Your Word today. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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