Skip to main content

Listening to God

Matthew 7:21-25 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
21-23"Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'


This passage reminds me that there is no substitute for regular quietness before God. I don't mean having a "quiet time," which for me often means anything but being quiet! My typical "quiet time" can easily look like this if I'm not careful: Start by glancing at the clock to gauge the time available; grab journal, Bible and assorted devotional books; start reading; write in journal; glance at clock; talk to God; glance at clock. Yikes, it's that time already?!

I have an opportunity to listen to the One who shaped the universe; what's my rush? He just might have something of value to say to me! Simply being quiet in his presence, creating space for him to speak is important.

Reading Matthew 7:21 and further on through verse 25, I see that it is possible to be busy and even apparently effective for God, but to have nothing to do with him. At the time such people meet Jesus, they will be stunned to find out that what they did "in his name," was not truly in his name. That is, he didn't ask them to do it, he didn't ordain it; they were doing what they wanted to do, even though on the surface their activity mimicked the ministry of Jesus. Verse 24 speaks of hearing the words of Jesus and putting them into practice; listen first, then act. The apostle John in the 15th chapter of his gospel uses the analogy of branches into which the life and power of the vine flow:

John 15:5-8 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

Prayer: Lord, I don't want to waste a moment in doing anything that you didn't ordain or intend. Forgive me for the arrogance of thinking for one moment that what I have to say to you is more important than what you have to say to me. I'm listening Lord and I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.


He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!