My intention is to read through "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers in the mornings. Sometimes, I get behind. Like this week. However, I find it interesting that often the weeks that I get behind and I choose to "catch up" on the reading, the devotional reading that I missed speaks right to what I've been thinking about or hearing about elsewhere. And so it was today.
Our church is doing an 11 week sermon series on the Ten Commandments, which has been incredibly thought-provoking and action changing for me. I found that this selection from "My Utmost" on February 12th really tied up some loose thought-ends for me. It is a bit of a lengthy read for a blog, but please read his words and tell me what you think.
We don't consciously and deliberately disobey God--we simply don't listen to Him. God has given His commands to us, but we pay no attention to them--not because of willful disobedience, but because we do not truly love and respect Him. "If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15)." Once we realize we have constantly been showing disrespect to God, we will be filled with shame and humiliation for ignoring Him.
"You speak with us, ...but let not God speak with us..." (Ex. 20:19) We show how little love we have for God by preferring to listen to His servants rather than to Him. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we don't want God Himself to speak to us. Why are we so terrified for God to speak to us? It is because we know that when God speaks we must either do what He asks or tell Him we will not obey. But if it is simply one of God's servants speaking to us, we feel obedience is optional, not imperative. We respond by saying, "Well, that's only your own idea, even though I don't deny that what you said is probably God's truth."
Am I constantly humiliating God by ignoring Him, while He lovingly continues to treat me as His child? Once I finally hear Him, the humiliation I have heaped on Him returns to me. My response then becomes, "Lord, why was I so insensitive and obstinate?" This is always the result once we hear God. But our real delight in finally hearing Him is tempered with the shame we feel for having taken so long to do so."
What do you think? Are you obeying His commandments knowing that that is in a very large, primary part, how He speaks to you? Are you asking Him *not* to speak to you hoping to hear only from other people or books or podcasts that you could ignore if you wanted to? Or are you just not listening at all, hoping that you have enough of your spiritual walk figured out that you don't need guidance? Those are hard questions to consider, and certainly ones that drive me to my knees in prayer as I examine my own heart.
Lord, build in me the love for your law, and a delight in your word that I have not previously known. Let me rest in the truth that your Word is more than enough, speaking to my every need and question. Help me to be not only a hearer of your Word but a doer, effectively living out Your principles in this watching world.