Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hearing = Answering

With God, Hearing = Answering

Psalm 34:4 - I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Another version of this verse, New King James, uses "heard" for "answered." I tend to think there is truth in all mainstream versions of the Bible, but occasionally our modern language gets in the way of our perception of the meaning of words. This verse is an excellent example.

Our modern culture uses phrases such as "selective hearing" to describe our humanness. Whether it's distractedness, narrowed attention, lack of respect, or just plain pride, sometimes our hearing does not equal answering. I believe with God it does. Even if it doesn't feel like it.

Daniel 10:12-13 - Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."

God's answer in Psalm 34 was to deliver from fear. Notice it was not to deliver from the circumstance that caused fear.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

In Psalm 34, the first step was to seek the Lord.
Seek: search, look until you find
The Lord: no one else will do, not your friends, not a book, not Facebook, only the Lord

Then listen for his answer, receive the answer, and wait for it to be fulfilled. Take what he gives, without expectations of what you think the answer will be.

He delivered me from all my fear.
He delivered, only him. My own rationalizing over what not to fear didn't deliver me. My friends didn't deliver me. My prayer didn't deliver me. God delivered me.
Not some, but all of the fear!
When God does something, he doesn't do it part way, or most of the way, but ALL the way.

When God delivers, are we going to run back into the very thing that he set us free from? I've seen it happen many times. God gives peace in place of fear, and people are so used to the fear that they talk themselves right out of the peace that God gave, and right back into the fear. Or they start listening to friends, or the radio, or the enemy's voice, and end up back in the fear they were once set free from.

This is a gift. It's worth more than gold. Don't treat it like a garage sale trinket and leave it by the road. Hang on to it. Hoard it, even, until it becomes part of you. Only then can you give it away and not lose it.

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