I remember when I was a young boy waking up so tired that I didn’t want to get out of bed for school. I knew mom was about to come and make sure I was up. She’d walk in and say, “Tim, are you awake?” On those sleepy mornings, I’d keep my eyes shut, not answer, and hope that mom would go away thinking, “Oh poor Tim, he is so tired. I need to let him sleep.” Now that was a true fantasy! Mom never went away. She always knew when I was faking it. Did you ever do that – keep your eyes shut pretending to be asleep?
Sometimes we do something similar to this with the Lord. At times we are paying great attention to the Lord but other times we seem to shut Him out. It’s almost as if we have the eyes to our heart shut pretending the Lord doesn’t know what we are thinking, saying, or doing. Why do we do this? Because, we usually want to so something that we know is unacceptable. So, we override our hearts, shut the eyes of our heart, and continue to go on with what we want to do.
One person eats the wrong foods or more than they should while shutting the eyes of their heart. The Lord is trying to speak to them but He is shut out. He isn’t trying to condemn but to love and fill this person’s heart with promise of supernatural help. He is trying to quench the void with love rather than food. Another person is gossiping, another lying, another manipulating to get their way, another entertaining a sexual relationship outside of marriage, another viewing sexual and pornographic images, another steeped in unforgiveness and relational schism, and another just living a lazy life. In each case, the Lord wants and is trying to help. His voice is gently speaking and His Spirit gently nudging but they eyes of their heart are squeezed tight and the voice of God is shut out.
In the Old Testament, there was a priest of God named Eli. Eli had some good points. He loved God and served him as a priest. But, he had some serious issues in his life – some to do with his personal daily conduct and some to do with the behavior of his children. God spoke to Eli saying, “This is what the LORD says: … So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you honor your sons more than me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people?” (Sam 2:27-29 )
Eli was a good man. He had raised and mentored the prophet Samuel and done a wonderful job. But when it came to curbing his own behavior or disciplining his sons, he keep the eyes of his heart shut and ignored the Lord. This was a man who could have been greatly blessed. God wanted to bless him but, God will not override our heart and make us do anything. He will speak to our heart in the still small voice of God. It is up to us to listen and obey. Sadly, the outcome of Eli and his sons was not good. They ignored God and the wrong behavior they clung to ended up destroying their lives.
God helps us change from the position of love. He wants us to live according to His Word knowing it will produce great blessing in our life. When He speaks to us to change, His grace which is His supernatural strength and help, ALWAYS accompanies the leading to change. Some receive His grace and others shut the eyes of their heart and instead cling to the worthless behaviors that only hurt them – forsaking His grace in the process. Jonah 2:8 put is like this: “Those who cling to worthless idols (things given a higher priority than God) forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
My goal in writing today is not to make us sin conscience. To the contrary, it’s to point out that God does want to help us change wrong thoughts, words, and behaviors. He is here to help. We don’t want to shut our eyes to what God is pointing out and shut out His voice. We want to listen knowing that His instruction to change is always accompanied by His grace to help. If He is dealing with you, receive His grace – His supernatural strength and help. Acknowledge, profess, and thank God for His grace. Before long you’ll sense it rise up in your heart. Suddenly one day you will say, “I am tired of this!” “God, in your strength this IS going to change.” Phil 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” will become your reality. Don’t shut your eyes and hide any more and don’t be afraid. He is on your side. He is not condemning you. And He’ll help you every step of the way!
2 Cor 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, executing greater and greater levels of maturing holiness out of reverence for God.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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