DayBreaks for 09/11/12 – Get the Sequence Right
Mark 7:32-35 (NIV) – There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
There are certain sequences in life that are unavoidable. Life comes before death. Childhood comes before adolescence and adulthood. Being a child comes before having children. Being a parent comes before one becomes a grandparent.
In the text from Mark 7, there is another sequence that we would do well to consider, understand, and incorporate into our lives. The man was deaf, and could barely speak, when he came to Jesus. Notice how Jesus approaches the situation:
FIRST, he puts his fingers into the man’s ears,
SECOND, he touches the man’s tongue.
Children hear before they learn to speak. If we can’t hear, we will not likely be able to learn to speak, because we speak by imitating the sounds we hear: “momma”, “daddy”, “dog”, “cat”, and the like. We imitate those sounds before we can read them. We must first hear. Once we hear, then we can speak.
It is especially important for Christians to hear what Jesus has to say before we attempt to speak for him, or in his place. Yes, we are to be his ambassadors and that means we speak what he has instructed us to say, but if we haven’t heard from him, we should keep our mouths shut! We should not be offering, “The Bible says X, Y, and Z, but here’s what I think…”.
The first step in communicating is to listen…then to speak. Let’s get the sequence right!
PRAYER: We are too prone to quick to speak on your behalf before we have heard from You! Teach us discipline, give us patience, to wait to hear your voice before we open our mouths! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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