Confidence In His Message, Not Ours…. Means We Need to Hear Him…
Devotional Thought of the Day:
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Acts 2:37 (NLT)
17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. Romans 10:17 (NLT)
Simply concentrate on being completely devoted to Christ in your hearts. Be ready at any time to give a quiet and reverent answer to any man who wants a reason for the hope that you have within you. 1 Peter 3:13 (Phillips NT)
“Stillness is not simply silence, but an attitude of listening to God, and of openness towards Him” (Celtic Prayer Book 1/14 Finian Reading)
I am amazed, as I read the gospels when Jesus talks of a people that hear and see, but don’t understand, that don’t perceive. That have all the tools for being servants of God, yet fail to “live up to their potential.” They get caught up in legalism, or in liberalism. They get caught in the idea of their own faithfulness or orthodoxy, or their own serving the least of these, and hold out their position as proper and right.
Been there, done that myself. Too many times if I am honest. Too recently if I am blunt.
It is interesting to me, that these times don’t come when we are struggling with the darkness of our life, when we are staring in our own failures, our own sin, our own brokenness, face to face.
It is when we are going well, that our confidence slips, and becomes confidence in our works, in our actions, our wisdom. It is there that we are in the process of sinning, just as the Pharisees did, just as the Sadducees and canon lawyers of Jsus day did. It is when we confuse His message with our own.
And hearing, we do not understand, and seeing, we don’t perceive.
It is those times when we need the silence, not of rest and sleep, but the silence that allows God to speak to us.
It is why i so prefer to deal with the broken, those who are crying for help as they struggle with sin, or the injustice/unrighteousness of the world. To see to them revealed the blessings of walking with Christ, of being comforted by the Holy Spirit. of rejoicing in the Lord who reveals Himself in word and Sacrament, and through the service of other broken people. People like me.
We need to hear Him…we need to let Him cut open our hearts, to let His word penetrate, to hear the hope that is only found in Him, and to speak it to others, who need to hear it as badly as we do.
That requires faith in the simplicity of the word and Sacrament, the simplicity of Christ crucified, our hope, of the love of God to be revealed, not through our logical manipulations, nor our self-inflicted martyrdom’s (which really isn’t martyrdom..but we want people to see it as such)
we need to hear that message, that cuts us open and pours transforms, enlightens, grants repentance, that reminds us, we are God’s work of art… not artisans ourselves….
Yes, even to us “mature” Christians,
Be Still.. and know… He is… God.