In our modern age, you have a plethora of resources available by which to gain encouragement and guidance in your life as a Christian.
If you are in a free country, then you have churches available to you either in person, by postal mail, or via the internet.
In many cases, it is easier to get a meeting with a pastor than it is a much needed medical professional.
If you live in an area with other Christians, hopefully you see enough of them on a daily basis to feel encouragement through them.
With all the resources and people around us, much can be learned about Jesus, his love for us, his perfect gift, and God’s original and modified plan for our lives.
With all the facts and knowledge we can gain from listening to wonderful teachers, counselors, educated peers, and ministry leaders, there is still one thing none of them will ever be able to do for us.
No other person will ever be able to help us deepen our relationship with or maturity level in Christ. The only place this can come from is Christ alone. And even more than that, it comes from listening to Christ.
In Mark chapter 4, Jesus tells his disciples,
“Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” Mark 4:24-25
In this passage Jesus is telling His followers specifically about the words He speaks. He urges them to listen closely, and pay close attention to his teaching which He is about to give. And for a reward? They will understand more.
In verse 25, He speaks of people who are listening only with their ears—but not with their understanding, as well as those who are not listening any longer. While this is a key to the lesson He is about to give them, it serves as a clear warning to those of us who “borrow faith” or are “content where we are at.”
Notice Jesus does not send them to “read up” on anything at anytime. He does not send them to listen to someone else teach them. He very clearly tells them to listen to Him—closely, with all attention—and not to be in a place where they are not listening to Him with all understanding.
He does not tell them not to listen to others. Those who were listing to the preaching of John the Baptist and his disciples were in good company—as you are when you listen to your bible-based Sunday school teacher, ministry team, pastor, and other God-led sisters in Christ. You will learn a lot. You will feel connections. You will probably even be lead to make life changing decisions from such interactions.
The disciples had Jesus to talk to them face to face—but how do we listen directly to Him? Through reading our bibles, and in our listening time.
Ladies, imagine yourself in your single phase of life. Imagine if those closest to you keep telling you all about the “man of your dreams.” They tell you how much he loves you, how he wants you to conduct yourself, and how one day when you die, you will meet him face-to-face. Are you in love with him?
Not likely. If you’ve ever been really lonely, then perhaps you wonder what he’s like. Maybe you day-dream about him often. Perhaps you lust after him, or even have a preconceived idea of what his face looks like. You may even call someone who knows him very well and ask for their interpretation of love letters he’s written to you. But the chances are, you aren’t in love. If anything, maybe you’re even lonelier.
If you haven’t met him on a personal level—and talked to him—and either heard the words he has to say to you, or read those love letters he’s written to you (over and over and over), then you are cheating yourself out of your true and perfect love.
When Jesus died on the cross, the course of mankind changed forever. No more would man need to kill an innocent animal to cover his sins. No more would man need to go through someone else to get to the throne of the Creator of everything ever created—no more.
The veil tore from the top to the bottom—It is done.
And not only is it done, but the unimaginable happens—each and every one of us is personally invited to have the Lord be the lover of our souls. It doesn’t matter who we used to be, if we are young, if we are old, if we have one eye or three arms. Not only does he love us perfectly, but we are beautiful in his eyes—He is attracted to us. And He is the one man who will never let us down. He will always go ahead of us paving the way, and He will always have our backs.
Do you want this? I know I do—more than anything.
But it’s not available through other people. It’s only available through Him.
If you want that deeper and deeper understanding, you have to go to Him—you have to read His word, and listen as he woo’s your heart. No one else can do that for you.
But don’t forget His warning either…when we stop listening to Him, what understanding we do have will whittle away.
Be strong in the Lord this week Friends. Go to Him often, be woo’d and walk strong.