Congratulations to Karee Logan for winning the “in-…” contest for a copy of our book, LOL with God. It was in-Escapable (we couldn’t get away from it) … her response was amazing!
One of the most frustrating conversations in theatrical history is recorded by Theater Arts magazine: A subscriber dialed “information” for the magazine’s number.
“Sorry,” drawled the woman, “but there is nobody listed by the name of ‘Theodore Arts.’”
The subscriber insisted, “It’s not a person; it’s a publication. I want Theater Arts.”
The operator’s voice rose a few decibels. She repeated, “I told you, we have no listing for Theodore Arts.”
By now, the subscriber was hollering, “Confound it, the word is Theater: T-H-E-A-T-R-E.”
The operator came back with crushing finality: “That is not the way to spell Theodore!” *
LOL! Talk about stubborn!
I (Dawn) had many experiences as a youngster I was told what to do … and did the opposite. My mom or dad would say, “You’re not listening!” and they would repeat their instructions. And I would again find a way not to obey. Now obviously, I was listening … but I wasn’t LISTENing. I heard with my ears, but not with my mind and heart ~ not with the intent to obey. There’s a big difference between hearing and heeding. A person can hear and, in stubbornness, choose to ignore.
I found this true with my own children, as many parents do. Children have this little seed of rebellion planted deep in their hearts, and boy, can they be stubborn sometimes! We see this stubborn tendency crop up very early. In fact, I remember the time when … no, I won’t do that to my children.
Suffice it to say that no one can tell me children aren’t born with a sin nature. And I see it in my sweet, adorable granddaughters, too.
I have to admit that sometimes I’m still like that little girl, listening with my ears to what God says, but stubbornly holding onto my own selfish agenda. I chafe at God’s authority, even though I know He loves me. At one time, I thought that surrender was a once-and-for-all yielding, but I’ve discovered it’s a process ~ a daily submission to the Lord’s control.
Psalm 119:9-16 reminds us that heeding God’s Word is how we can keep a right focus about sin and understand the ways of God. We must be careful not to harden our hearts at the voice of the Lord (Psalm 95:7-8a).
Just as I had to teach my children that I loved them and that my instructions were for their good ~ and my discipline for their benefit ~ God wants me to know that His plans for me are positive (Jeremiah 29:11), and when it’s necessary to discipline my life for refusing His wisdom, He has purpose in that as well (Hebrews 12:11). God’s authority in our lives, as given in His Word, is a blessing … a gift … and we need to respect the Lord and obey Him with a willing, joyful heart.
As I heard so many times in “Sunshine Club” in a ministry I served with years ago, we are to “do everything we are told, when we are told to do it, with a happy face!”
Indeed, hearing is not the same as heeding. Simply put, to “heed” is to give careful attention to God and His Word with the sincere intention of complete, immediate, joyful obedience. Is that your desire today?
* 1001 Humorous Illustrations, #885, p. 333