Tuesday, October 13, 2015

OCTOBER 13 "MAYBE IT'S TIME TO CHANGE?"

     DON'T remind me of who I am or don't try to label me!!! We hate that, when people say, "you've always had a temper"  or whatever it is they try to label on us.  I'm not sure I like being labeled or told "you've always..." however sometimes it's true and cuts like a knife, but then there are times that the individual who voiced his or her opinion is completely wrong in his or her judgement.  I think it's safe to say that if God himself says, "this is how you are and this is how you've always been" then it's time to listen and begin to look introspectively at ourselves. He might just be right!!!  This verse would be quite a shock for any of us to hear, it is Verse 21 in Jeremiah, "21 I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed me.".   In most cases this is where we would say, "who do you think you are, telling me...." but in this case, it being God, we might just want to listen and take it. This scripture shows us that God has known our ways since our youth, whether we have been living for him or not, He is well acquainted with our ways and He also is not neutral on us but has an opinion of every human on the earth.  What is God's opinion of you and I? His opinion of Abarim is one that Abarim has never listened to Him, one that, since his youthhas never obeyed him.  So that means that since this man was a kid God has been at work in his life.  I would say I always felt this "unseen force" working in my life since I was a kid. My presumption was that "this force" was always working against me, but it was actually God working on my behalf. Jesus describes this to Saul of Tarsus (before he's converted to Paul) as "why do you kick against the goads". In short, why are you fighting me Paul???  In our stubbornness, in our rebellion and disobedience often it is God we are fighting against.  For sure God would look upon my youth and say, "He never obeyed, never listened". I hope that He (God) would look at my life now, as an Adult and say, "He does listen and obey, more than not".  For this individual it is not the case, God says, "you haven't changed one bit. You didn't listen to me when you were a youth and you still don't listen". 
     Maybe it's time to change, maybe it's time to stop being stubborn and rebellious.  Maybe it's time to change God's opinion of us. It's not hard to hear God's voice, it's only hard to listen. If a short time after you yell at and belittle your wife you begin to feel convicted (Holy Spirit) and voice in your conscience says, "then go tell her your sorry and apologize" you can know that's not you speaking.  If you are ripping your employees off and a voice in your conscience says, "stop ripping these people off, they work hard for their moneyyou can know, that's not your voice but the voice of God.  It is not hard to hear the voice of God, if you want a clue, often times God's voice runs contrary to how we think and what we would do.  In our text, God's voice is saying, 13 “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor."  It is obvious to the King that this is not his voice but God's voice speaking.  His voice (the King) says, "it is smart to get a head by ripping people off, getting free labor, just because he can.  God's voice is "you're unrighteous, you're not paying these people for their labor".  However, this King will not listen, He has never listened and he never changes.  I've met people like that and I mean, I've met people like that in the church.  They have become somewhat religious and part of the church, but they still have the tendency not to listen to God's voice in key areas and key decisions of their life.  The result is the same result as in our text. I dare to see where they find themselves in their 70's & 80's should Jesus tarry.  Maybe, just maybe, it's time to change. That God would be able to look at our lives and say something differently than what He said about this King. That God would say about us, "he did not listen to me in his youth, but as an Adult he grew up and lived and obedient life and because of such, I blessed him".