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Listening Yet Not Hearing

Amos 8 11“The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.”

My latest observation. Now remember an observation is not conclusive, it’s a snapshot in time when you experience an attitude or a reality in the moment. Evangelicals love to use the term, “You have to get into the Word.” They are right in saying this because the Word of God is our authority on knowing and practicing our faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, I have observed that the Word, if read, is not being understood.

For example, this past week I engaged with three individuals who have made it known that they are followers of Jesus Christ … but they are not sure if they will make it into heaven. The assurance factor was missing. So, I started to ask myself, “Are we making sure we are encouraging people to know that salvation/heaven is secure in Christ?” The Apostle Paul tells us that our security in Christ is never in jeopardy:

Romans 8 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can take away salvation from our lives once we have committed our lives to Jesus Christ. Christ’s death on the Cross was the most secure act in the history of mankind. His death on the Cross provided the only way of salvation, and once accepted by an individual has an everlasting value for everyone. Once a person approves and accepts the Cross by faith that person has all the benefits of God. They receive eternal life, access to God, the benefits of direction … all with knowing and practicing the truth. Nothing can take these things from us, and in death, the life we have believed in by faith becomes a reality. God does not renege on His promises … we see that in His relationship with Israel. Even when Israel abandoned Him for other gods, He remained faithful to them. The same is true for us. Even when we wander, God is faithful to bring us back. He never violates our will, but He is always ready to step in and bring restoration to our relationship with Him.

This brings me to the listening aspect. Listening to God is critical in our day. Why? Because there are so many voices that are speaking to us. I believe the many voices is a plan of Satan to confuse so he can divide and conquer in achieving his objective to rob, steal, and destroy God’s Word in our lives. How often do we hear people questioning God’s ability to meet a need? What about all the fear surrounding COVID-19? To me, COVID-19 has always been about the test of trust. I know this seems elementary and perhaps even silly to some people, but God knows our hearts and He knows our tendency is to fear. Fear is not from God:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

We are fearing a virus we cannot see, and we are told to trust in science to keep us safe. Really? Trust in science to keep us safe? How has that worked for us? The test is about in whom and in what do we trust. When I live, I will trust in God … when I die my trust is still in God. As a believer in God, where is the downside? We are all on a timeline and death is imminent. No one has the promise of tomorrow, so today is all we have in living our lives. Today, put your trust in God and you have eternity secure with Him and eternity waiting for you when your timeline is up. Listening to hear God speak to you is about your trust, your fear, and your future. It is an incredible exercise in living. His voice is not droning on and on like a commercial. He is whispering a name because it’s the only name under heaven to connect to Him. Jesus Christ is the one who takes fear away, gives us the security of knowing God, and is our promise for our future … now and in eternity.

Listening to God is not listening to sermons, teachings, and otherwise … it is listening to God’s voice speak to you through His Word. God uses sermons and teachings, but His preference is for you to know Him, one on one, learning to hear His voice, and know Him by name.

Listening to hear God is the greatest calling in your life. It will weed out all the other voices that have come to rob, steal, and destroy your life. Today, take some time and read His Word, and then stop to listen. God will use what you read and help you understand how His Word will bring you closer to Him.

God does not want us to fear life or fear death. That is His bottom line … His word helps us to live fearlessly because of Christ our Lord.

Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler

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