Oswald’s word resonated well with me this morning when he said,
"Speak thou with us . . . but let not God speak with us." We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. If it is only the servant’s voice we hear, we feel it is not imperative, we can say, "Well, that is simply your own idea, though I don’t deny it is probably God’s truth."
The real delight of hearing Him is tempered with shame in having been so long in hearing Him.
We misapply this sentiment in two pronounced ways:
We sit under authoritative teaching from God’s Word and refuse to be doers of what we hear.
We waffle and wonder what must be done in response to non-moral issues of preference
Here’s what I mean.
We treat decisions of preference and choice as though we would make a choice if only we had a definitive word from the Lord on the matter. As a result, we wiggle and excuse laziness by calling it godliness in waiting for clear direction. We argue, “I would do something if I knew what God wanted.”
We treat decisions of principle and command as though we have the option to obey if we feel like it, excusing our laziness by appealing to the fact that we said a prayer or walked an aisle or got wet once upon a time as somehow removing the disaster of current disobedience.
We claim to want God’s opinion on things we suspect we won’t get a clear word on and ignore God’s commands on things we clearly see communicated in Scripture.
Jesus, forgive me my arrogance and ignorance in assuming I would faithfully without fail do what You ask if I only had a clear word from You when I so frequently ignore and punt on the very clear Word of instruction before me. Thank You, Jesus, for doing everything God commands and for never doing anything God forbids. Grant me faith to believe in that alone as my only confidence. Amen.