2 X 4 Listening

It grieved me to hear that Sharon wasn’t returning to school this year. I soon was talking to my friends in the dorm about the sad situation. Soon we trotted over to the women’s dorm to discuss the bad decision Sharon had made. Soon I had everyone in an uproar. It wasn’t until I spotted a group of guys smuggling Sharon from one spot to another that I realized I had been had. It was only because I had swallowed the joking response and spread the information believably that the rest had also believed. Sometimes, I have a hard time hearing the truth. It is only whenever I have a hard time hearing the voice of God, does he have to speak to me with a 2 X 4.

Once, I came to church to learn that a beloved youth group leader had died at age 40 of a heart attack. People were listing all that he had done and how he had been a wonderful Christian in all aspects of his life. The were crying, “Why God did you let this happen?” I thought, “He was extremely overweight. God had spoken to him through various doctors in increasing urgency, then through worsening health issues. He refused to listen, and finally God took him home. Today, I was talking with a friend. Her husband was suffering worse and worse from diabetes. He didn’t want to give up his foods that were killing him. He had gone blind and recovered. The doctor had told him that he would have to start dialysis soon. His response is to refuse to see the doctor. So many people don’t want to hear. Some want to hear, but their cravings overpower the voice of God. Notice the principal in 1 Cor 11:30, when we disobey for too long, “some are sick and some have fallen asleep.”

I went hiking as a young Christian. I had backpacked for many miles that day. Finally, I arrived at the river. Exhausted, I made camp at a rocky point, slept uncomfortably, mosquito bit and rained on. God has a sense of humor. The next day, as I hiked on, each mile showed me a better camp. The first had a soft place for sleeping. The second included a fire-pit, the third added a log to sit on. The fourth was the Cadillac of campsites. It included a table and chairs plus rain-coverings over the sleeping and eating areas. I left the last spot thinking, “God, I need to trust you more. I should have listened last night.”

From that, I learned to listen more, but that doesn’t mean I learned to listen completely. Heb 5:14 “solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” It is a process over time. Some people hear the voice of God. Some follow the leading of circumstances. Some use logic, and all ask for God to change their way if wrong. What is important is Rom 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” If you let God heal you of your past trigger points and let Him transform you with your new healed mind, You will know what God’s will is. Again, this process takes time. I find that God doesn’t have to speak to me with the 2X4 nearly as often to get my attention. I figure, at this rate, I would have to live to 150 before He would have to retire it completely. Let God heal you and transform you and you will hear that still soft voice and obey it before the 2X4 has to come out.

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