2 Cor 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, executing greater and greater levels of maturing holiness out of reverence for God.”
Did you ever do this when you were a little child? You were in your bed – either you just went to bed or it was time to wake up. One of your parents walked in the room and you pretended you were asleep. Your parents called to you but you kept your eyes shut pretending to be asleep. My kids did it at different times when they were little. I remember doing it when I was a child. Sometimes I was tired in the morning and hoped that if I pretended hard enough, mom would go away and I wouldn’t have to get up and go to school. Now that was a true fantasy! Mom never went away. She always knew when I was faking it.
Sometimes we do something similar to this with the Lord. At times we are paying great attention to the Lord but other times we seem to shut Him out. It’s almost as if we have the eyes to our heart shut pretending He doesn’t know what we are thinking, saying, or doing. Why do we do this? Because, we usually want to so something that we know is unacceptable. So, we override our hearts, shut our eyes so-to-speak, and do what we want.
One person eats the wrong foods or more than they should while shutting the eyes of their heart. The Lord is trying to speak to them but He is shut out. He isn’t trying to condemn but to love and fill this person’s heart with promise of supernatural help. He is trying to quench the void with love rather than food. Another person is gossiping, another lying, another manipulating to get their way, another entertaining a sexual relationship outside of marriage, another viewing sexual and pornographic images, another steeped in unforgiveness and relational schism, and another just living a lazy life. In each case, the Lord wants and is trying to help. His voice is gently speaking and His Spirit gently nudging but their eyes are squeezed tight and the voice of God is shut out. Not completely though, because in this game, and that is what it becomes when we turn God on and off – there are spiritual moments where they draw near to God and pray and say “I’m sorry”, and “I love you.”
In the Old Testament, there was a priest of God named Eli. Eli had some good points. He loved God and served him as a priest. But, he had some serious issues in his life – some to do with himself, and some to do with his children. In them, he shut the eyes of his heart not dealing with them. One issue was his weight. He was a very heavy man. There is an old saying, “the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It means the kids often learn and model what they have learned from their parents. Well, one thing we learn in reading about Eli’s sons is that when the sacrifices to the temple were brought, they’d take the best parts for themselves to eat. Where did they learn this? Probably from their father. God was speaking to Eli about his son’s behaviors, but other than a few words of expressed disappointment, Eli took no action with his sons. Why? Because he himself was probably engaged in the same sin if not then at some point in his past. Maybe he didn’t want to be accused by his sons as a hypocrite.
We read about it in 1 Sam 2:27-29 “Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: … So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you honor your sons more than me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people?”
There were other things going on. Eli’s sons were having sex with the women serving in the temple. All this was an abomination to God. God tried to speak to them all about it. But, they shut the eyes of their heart and pretended they didn’t hear until they really couldn’t hear anymore because of their hardened hearts.
We aren’t hiding anything from God. We are only kidding ourselves when we continue to do things that we know are contrary to His will for us. People think, “It’s my choice and I’m not hurting anyone else. If I’m hurting anyone it will only be myself.” That is deception! Everything we think, we say, and we do, affects ourselves and consequently and ultimately affects someone else in some way.
The only reason we “keep our eyes shut” for the long haul is because we don’t think we have the strength to change. My goal in writing today is not to make us sin conscience. To the contrary, it’s to point out that God does want to help us change wrong thoughts, words, and behaviors. He is here to help. We don’t’ want to shut out God’s voice. We want to deal with it. Pray for God’s grace which is His supernatural strength. Keep repenting and keep praying until you feel His grace rise up in your heart. It will happen if you don’t quit praying. One day you will say, “I am tired of this!” “God – in your strength this IS going to change.” You will win. His help – His grace is supernatural. Phil 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” will become your reality. You must exercise faith in it and then draw from it for the changes you need to make. Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, executing greater and greater levels of maturing holiness out of reverence for God.” When we sincerely confess our sins and consistently plea for His help absolutely believing He will help, then He will. He is God. Out of His love, helping you is what He has wanted to do from the beginning! Don’t shut your eyes and hide any more!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.