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OUR MOST SERIOUS FAILURE

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It is the most frustrating thing we ever experience. When our young children simply will not listen to us, we are unable to lead them. When they are teenagers and ignore our counsel, it opens the door for them to be led by many unhealthy voices and make disastrous choices.

When we are trying to train a co-worker, and they won't pay attention, it destroys the workplace and hampers productivity. It frustrates and irritates us.

Not listening.

So, how does God feel when we pay no attention to Him? He made us and knows exactly what should be happening daily in our lives. And, He has gone to extraordinary lengths to condescend to us so that He might speak to us and lead us. But we don't listen. We fail to get ourselves in the daily, hourly posture to hear His voice. Worse still, when we do hear Him, we simply choose to ignore His instructions.

JEREMIAH'S PROPHECY

... came to the people of God in his day with this same indictment from God. We see it repeated five times in six verses in Jeremiah, Chapter 35, along with God’s corresponding judgment. Disaster was coming upon them ... because they wouldn't listen.

Jeremiah 35

12 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,

13 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the Lord.

14 “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are observed. So they do not drink wine to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me.

15 “Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me.

16 ‘Indeed, the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have observed the command of their father which he commanded them, but this people has not listened to Me.  

17 “Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer.’ 

Here is the most important question: Are you hearing from God? If not, it is not because He is not speaking nor unwilling to communicate. Even the heavens and earth are daily speaking to us of His glory (Psalm 19). He has given us His Word, His Spirit, and His people to give us personal, constant communication. If you are not hearing, it is either because you are not "inclining your ear" to listen to Him or that you are choosing to ignore His voice.

When was the last time you can honestly say that you heard from God? And, did you instantly, gladly respond in humble surrender to His instructions?

OUR GREATEST FAILURE

It is the most grievous sin we could possibly commit. Disaster always follows when we pay no attention to God, for we are left to our own, humanistic resources. When we lead ourselves, or are led by other voices, the results are predictable and deadly. 

What a tragedy, and what an affront to the God-Who-Made-and-Loves-Us, when He is speaking and we simply pay no attention.

Posted by Bill Elliff

Is Your SOUL at REST?

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Almost everyone I know is longing for rest. For some, it's just literal, physical rest. Young mom's and dads, busy professionals, students who are up late.

But for most, it's way more than that. It's about their souls. People are not at rest in their soul. They are anxious, weary, confused, disappointed, hurt ... and the list goes on. They are restless. The phrase "sleep like a baby" is descriptive, for a baby knows none of these burdens to their soul.

Where do we find that deep rest where it matters? Here's God's prescription (and, I figure that He would know).

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Apparently, God wants us to look back and see what brought rest to those contented men and women who've gone before us. Those who found God and His ways and walked in them. The eternal prescription that is found in God's Word.

If we ignore God's ancient path and choose our own, we're on our own and the weight is over the legal load limit.

Jesus would later say it like this:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus knew that the remedy was found in walking with Him. We are not to come to a system or program, but to HIM ... and HE would give us rest. When we walk with Him, He carries the load with us (as in the double-yoke He describes here.) The burden becomes light when we're walking in the right path with the ever-strong right Person.

Why walk around weary the rest of your life? There's a path to rest, if you'll come to Him and walk the ancient path!

Posted by Bill Elliff

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