Monday, January 07, 2008
Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Matthew 13:11-12 “Jesus then explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”
Different words obviously solicit different kinds of responses. When our children were little, if we were sitting around the breakfast table and I said, “Kids, you’ve been great in your attitude this week – Mom and I are taking you to Chucky Cheese Pizza for a reward,” they’d all be excited, cheer, and even though it was only 9:00 in the morning, say, “Can we go now?” If the boys were playing a video game or watching their favorite show on television and I told them to come to the table for dinner, you might have wondered, “Did they suddenly and completely lose their hearing?” There would be no indication - not even a flinch that they’d heard a word you said.
Selective hearing is a part of life. That’s not always bad. There are times where that can be quite beneficial. I remember years ago when I worked for the airlines. We’d come up to contract negotiations about every four years. When that time came around, most everyone began talking about the contract - how bad things were, how the company was the devil, how we would have to strike, and how much that would hurt because no one could afford it. The overall attitudes of the employees were somewhere between strained to terrible and it was not a fun time to work. I would limit myself to learning what the offer from the company was, making my mind how I would vote on the contract, and turning the rest over to the Lord in prayer. He was my provider. I became selective in my hearing. I didn’t want to hear or enter into depressing negative discussions all day long about something I had limited control over. If I was dragged into the discussion, I’d quickly share my view and why. I’d then tell them I am praying about it because I love and serve God and bring my tithes to church in obedience to His Word, I trusted the Lord to help me in all areas of my life including finances no matter what happened.
Selective hearing is essential in life. It’s critical to discernment and discerning what is good and from God and what is not that causes fear, unbelief, or evil imaginations. Jesus warned us to be selective in what we hear and to be sure that we do listen and pay attention to what He has to say. In Mark 4:23 we read. “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand—and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them."
Jesus assured us that if we learned to read His Word as it being the voice of God speaking to us and treat what we read with reverence and respect, then as we worked to obey His Word, He’d reveal more to us – meaning His Holy Spirit would speak to our spirit and bring revelation to what God’s Word is saying.
God’s Word describes itself as quick and powerful. Why? Because when someone is paying attention to what it says, it has the potential if you are not being selective in your hearing – to penetrate your heart and bring insight, change your life, give wisdom, bring healing, and more. It might teach or bring instruction to you. It might convict (NOT CONDEMN) you regarding an area of sin or disobedience in your life. It might reprove you (which is like a loving scolding) about your attitude or gossipy mouth. The Word of God to those that reverence it speaks loudly and clearly. God’s Word cannot be a convenience package to you – “I’ll go to it when I am in trouble and need God’s help.”
There are people that say that they can’t hear God’s voice. They are Christians living unmarried in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. 1 Thess. 4:3 is speaking. Can you hear what God is saying through it? 1 Thess. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from fornication and sexual immorality.” Can that person hear God say, “Stop having sex outside of marriage?” If not, he or she probably won’t hear much of anything else Jesus is saying.
In order to hear the deeper things of God, you have to hear the things He is saying to you in regards to your day to day activity. That is the meaning of today’s Fresh Manna verse “Jesus then explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”
It is good to learn the deep and profound things of the Lord. It is good to hear God’s voice direct you in intimate details of your life. But, start with the basic simple things He is speaking to you through His Word. You don’t need to hear some kind of audible voice to hear most of what God is saying. His Words in the Word speak it loud and clear. Listen and obey there and more of His voice will manifest in more of your life!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.