Originally published on the Desiring God Community Church website.
Coty Pinckney is a TCT Network Pastor who planted in 2003 in Charlotte, NC.
Will You Pay Attention?
When God speaks, do you listen?
We often plead with God to speak to us, to tell us what we should do, whom we should marry, where we should move. We ask God to guide us and direct us and comfort us and lead us.
Yet do we answer when He calls?
How does He call?
1) He calls through the evidence of creation around us:
Psalm 19:1-2, 4a The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. . . . Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
2) He calls through His Word, His revelation to mankind:
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
2 Peter 1:19 We have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
3) He calls through His people proclaiming His message:
2 Timothy 4:2a Preach the Word!
Luke 9:60b “As for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Mark 5:19 ”Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Jesus commands us to answer that call, to obey what we hear:
Luke 9:44 “Let these words sink into your ears.”
Matthew 7:24-27 ”Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Yet time and again we have not paid attention to His Word, instead closing our ears and willfully refusing to hear:
Zechariah 7:11-13 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts.
Seeing this danger in history, understanding the stain of sin within us, we must be sensitive to the stubbornness and rebellion in our own hearts. So will you pray with me?
Father God, guard my heart from stubbornness, from stopping my ears so I do not hear Your Word. I see those elements of rebellion within me, the desire to go my own way, to forge my own understanding of reality, instead of depending upon You and upon Your revelation. There is within me the longing for independence, for autonomy rather than for being Your child, looking to You for wisdom and understanding. Forgive me for these longings. Time and again You have shown me that true joy and fulfillment come from leaning on You, from depending on You, from acknowledging that I am not wise on my own, that I can do nothing on my own, that I will destroy what I love most and will dishonor the One to whom I owe everything unless I humbly acknowledge my need. So free me from the slavery of Self, and lead me willingly and joyfully in Your paths, for my own good and for the glory of Your Name. Amen.