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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Preparing My Heart for Good Reception

In summary of Romans 10:17 it says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

Bottom line:
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

What this means to me:
My faith was first established from hearing the Good News about Christ and what Christ has done for me.  Good hearing / listening is much like a gardener and planting.  Differing results can occur from the same seed planted into different types of soil.  In order to grow properly the soil must be prepared.  Unprepared soil will not yield good results.  
The same is true for how I hear God’s Word. Two people can hear the same message and have different reactions; for one it really speaks to them, to the other they didn’t get anything.  It turns out that the heart of one who got something was more prepared to listen.  
So what this tells me is that my heart has to be prepared in order to get value out of His Word.  Typical frustrations in life; getting up late, having problems with the commute or other things that make me irritated or put me into a rush will keep me from being properly prepared to list (I’ll likely not be in a receptive mood.)  The Bible reminds me, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:19b-21 NIV).  
In order for me to maintain good reception, I need to adopt four attitudes.
  • I must be quiet. I can’t hear God if I’m talking.
  • I have to be calm. I can’t rush God. If I’m frantic, I’m not going to hear God. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In other words, “Sit down and shut up.”
  • I need to be clean. Before I can meet with God, I need to take out some emotional and spiritual garbage. I need to get rid of the stuff that stinks in my life. I get rid of this garbage by confessing my sin to God and agreeing with him that what I did was wrong.
  • I need to be humble. I need to be ready to do whatever God tells me from his Word. A prideful attitude just won’t work.
It is vitally important for me to adopt these four attitudes so that I can get the most out of my time with God.  I have added these four areas to my quiet time routine for incorporation.