DayBreaks for 11/19/13 – Removing the Trace of Guilt
Ezekiel 33:30-32 – “30 “As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”
It would have been hard to be Ezekiel. Consider the role of the prophet – they had a calling from the Lord, a specific message He wanted them to proclaim – and as often than not, God told the prophet that all their speaking would be in vain. Oh, sure, people might come to hear and listen to what the prophet had to say. But that wasn’t God’s objective for His message. It never has been and it never will be. God doesn’t just want people to hear His Word – what He really wants is for people to make the changes in their lives that the word reveals.
Chuck Swindoll put it this way, as he warns us all of our human tendency: “Beware of the temptation to alter your theology instead of adjusting your life. By accommodating your theology, it is remarkable what the mind can do to remove even the slightest trace of guilt.”
You see, the problem the people had who heard the words of Ezekiel (you could substitute the name of any prophet, and even of Jesus in that phrase), is that they altered the meaning of the words to mean what they wanted it to mean instead of surrendering themselves to the pure and simple demands of the Word of God.
How do you react when confronted with the demands of the Scripture to change something in your life? Do you start to think that it doesn’t apply to your life situation? Do you rationalize and explain away why it doesn’t apply to you? If you do that, you are like those who listened to – and ignored – Ezekiel’s message so long ago.
PRAYER: Let us not just hear, but do Your Word. Spirit, keep us from altering the words or meaning to make ourselves feel better and give us the courage to face the truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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