Well. First off, as I was spending more time studying the Bible and in prayer I had things I was thinking about, working on understanding about the scripture, how God wants me to implement what I am learning, trying to see and understand what God wants of me and working to get closer to Christ in the process I came to realize somethings about me, one of which is I can process things better when I write; so, I shall write more. I don’t think I will write and post as often, but it is helpful to me and hopefully, as I had said long ago, something will hopefully be beneficial for someone else. And, with that being said…..
After Bible study last night I was speaking with the pastor and he mentioned someone that was sick so I asked if they had gone to the doctor yet and he said no. I commented that it seems they have been dealing with this issue for a while and asked if he had suggested they go to the doctor and he replied, “Yes, several times but even though we and they know they should go, you can’t make someone do the right thing for themselves.” And, I thought that while it was a simple statement and concept it was pretty darned profound.
As I thought about that, I considered times I have been he who would not help myself, whether that be getting help when I needed it, perhaps physical by not going to the doctor when I should have (yes, I am a doctor myself, but sometimes we aren’t good patients,) actual assistance with some sort of work I was doing, counseling when I was dealing with PTSD issues, or many other ways I could have benefited from getting help, one area I was bad about in past was seeking spiritual assistance when I needed it, maybe I didn’t talk to a pastor or fellow Christian that could have helped me some or maybe I didn’t study the Bible or pray about things. Thinking about ways I didn’t do it, I thought about people that sort of get help, but not really. Sometimes people come to the doctor, they need medications, the get the prescriptions and either don’t get them filled, only take it when they feel like it, take it incorrectly or don’t follow other suggestions like losing weight, stopping smoking or drinking or other medical advise. I also thought about a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist and he often would get frustrated with patients that had been listening to him, making fantastic progress and on the verge of a breakthrough when suddenly they relapse. They either quit talking about the true issue or they quit therapy. So close that he knew they were literally minutes away from getting to the point that they could actually start getting better.
I thought further about things, about times that I have seen people on the verge of doing exactly what they needed to do and just quit, give up on trying to make take the steps they need to take in order to reach that point they need to reach, almost there, but they stop short. That would be like an athlete in a marathon who is almost at the finish line and will finish and do well, but for some unknown reason just stop because they just can’t make it a little further. They were almost to break the tape and they give up and let someone else win.
How many, one way or another fall short of what God wants for them? We all fall short, but through Christ we are redeemed. I am not talking about the unsaved, but about Christians. How many fail to listen to God because they let other things interfere with their thoughts, prevent them from hearing or listening to God. Or, if they hear Him, they ignore Him. I will tell you the truth, I have been guilty of all of the above. And when I was, it was because I wouldn’t help myself by listening to Christ.
Of course, one reason to listen is to receive salvation. If we hear Christ’s call us and respond by asking forgiveness and confessing our sins and that He I the Son of God who died and was resurrected to defeat death, we can be saved.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
and, not listening keeps us from God.
He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God. John 8:47
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip. Hebrews 2:1
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it]. Hebrews 4:2
But, what about not listening to God and missing out on the real blessings He has for us. I know I have been very bad about that.
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
He promises blessings to those who listen to Him.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13
But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:28
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. Luke 8:21
And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. Mark 4:24
1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
He tells us that He will bless us, make us His children if we listen, that He will lift us high above others because of our faith, that we listen to Him and obey Him. I know that in the past I have been given word from God. Through prayer, studying the scripture and at times He has used others to tell me. I have not always obeyed when I heard things. Because I did not listen or obey, at times I missed out on blessings, other times I heard but did not obey, until like Jonah, He gave me no real choice but to obey and when I did, He blessed me. Making me realize that my resistance to His voice delayed my blessings and thereby diminished them. No, we can’t make people do the right thing for themselves, we cannot make one listen and obey God. What we can do is listen to Him, obey His word and help ourselves. We can pray for those who need prayer, but one that I know who always needs prayer is me. That I know when to help myself by hearing, listening and obeying God.
Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You have been gracious enough to give to me, even though I didn’t deserve them. I thank You for my salvation paid for by the blood of Jesus who died for me and was resurrect to defeat death on my behalf. I pray in the Name of Jesus that You work in me and help be better hear You when You speak to me, to know when I am given a message from You and to know to follow Your will for my life that I may receiving further blessings and more importantly learn to walk better with Christ. I pray that any who, like I have in the past, failed to listen, hear and obey You that they not harden their hearts to Your word and lose out on the blessings You have in store for them if they follow Your will. I pray that You draw my children and other loved ones closer to You that we may all rejoice together in Heaven in the future.
Thank you all who make time to read the lessons God gives me. I hope someone else was blessed as well. Have a marvelous and blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else.