“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN May 9, 2023

Sorry, God …

you’re breaking up.

Have you ever felt like this? Though we do not say it in words, we reveal it in actions. God’s communication can seem unclear … if we hear it at all. We then conclude, “God doesn’t speak to me.”

I have an idea about this: When God’s communication is unclear, more times than not, it is not God who is breaking up but us. The problem is not that God is silent. Rather, it is that we are not listeningor at least not listening well.

We have so many distractions, hindrances, strongholds, and hard-headed ideas embedded in our thinking that it is a wonder we ever hear anything from Him. And when we do not (because of our own limitations), we have the audacity to blame God!

In the seventies, Gary Paxton sang “If you think God is far away, guess who moved!” This thought in the perspective of today’s message would be something like “If you think God is not speaking, guess who’s not listening!”

Most of us have difficulty discerning God’s communication to us. (Let me be the first to admit that I do!) Sometimes His communication is obscure–I’ll give us all that. But this is something I have learned:

While the finer points can be difficult to perceive, recognize, or clearly discern, we can almost all hear a ‘no’.

In fact, we can hear His ‘no’ clearer than we can hear His ‘yes”. This is so because our emotions are often involved and emotions can mimic Holy Spirit. We can think we are hearing a ‘yes’ when in fact, it is only in our own mind. ‘No’ is less often what we want to hear, therefore, our emotions are less invested.

This, I believe, was the case for Josiah in today’s Scripture passage. He got something embedded in his mind. His emotions were engaged. He would not listen to reason or wisdom. He would not accept Neco’s admonishment to not interfere because it was not his (Josiah’s) fight. Josiah stubbornly persisted in his folly and was fatally wounded as a consequence.

His death was needless. It could have been prevented if only he had listened to God or had at least listened to Neco who spoke truth and wisdom. This is a lesson to us. Much grief in our lives could be prevented if only we would listen to God or at least to those who speak His truth and wisdom into our lives.

Being committed and dedicated to God’s purpose is admirable. Being stubborn, headstrong, and determined to do whatever is in our mind is not! The takeaway I hope for you in this message is to be more aware of what is in your mind.

Are you hearing God’s direction or are you following your own? Are you hearing Holy Spirit or your own emotions? I repeat what I said above: ‘No’ is easier to hear then ‘yes’. If you have an undefinable “something”–a feeling that is not quite a feeling or a thought that is not quite a thought–that is saying “No.” clear enough for you to question it, you should pay attention. Even if it comes through someone else and you are unsure if it is from God, stop until you know.

This is your cue to stop whatever process or track you are on and get clarity before you do something that could result in irreparable damage. The “damage” to a purpose caused by seeking clarity from God will be much less than that of stubbornly making mistakes that may not be recoverable. Failure to heed this principle cost Josiah his life. We do not have to let it be so for us.

Be wise. Ask God for keener discernment. And be certain of this: If God is breaking up, the interference is not on His side.

Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for May 9, 2023:

After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, “What quarrel is there between you and me, O king of Judah? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Neco had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo. Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, “Take me away; I am badly wounded.” (2 Chr 35:20-23 NIV)

Prayer: LORD, help me to accept Your direction however it may come. It may be direct from You, through another person, by circumstances, or some other way You choose to communicate. Make me aware when I get something in my mind that is not from You. Heal the damage in me and others that has resulted from foolish decisions made in stubbornness or disobedience. Thank You for Your great patience with me as I learn to follow Your directions and grow more mature in our relationship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org

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‘Today’s Seed’ from E-MIN • May 9, 2023

About Randall Vaughn:

With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.

Copyright (c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved.
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