Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how broken I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols. Then at last they will hate themselves for all their detestable sins.” Ez 6:9
What a moving description of how our sin affects God! Other versions of the Bible translate the word “broken” as hurt, grieved or crushed. God truly desires and longs for our love. He is truly hurt when we let our heart be taken up with something else, and He is crowded out and forgotten. I guess it is like I feel when my husband seems to be consumed by his computer. I feel neglected and unimportant. (Although my husband is great, and spends a lot of time with me. I don’t want to give the wrong impression!)
“See, the day!
See, it comes!
Doom has burst forth,
the rod has budded,
arrogance has blossomed!
Violence has arisen,
a rod to punish the wicked.” (Ez 7:10)
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:6)
There is a day of reckoning for all of our choices. Today is our opportunity to respond to God’s love, and to express love to Him. I was conducting a discourse yesterday with someone who is searching the nature of Christianity — how much works play a part, what constitutes hypocrisy. I asked them, “How do you express your love to God, make Him smile, know Him? That is what we’re trying to do, not make people be perfect.” And it is what we’re trying to do — help people love God by not putting anything ahead of God, by just focusing on loving Him above all else. But it so often looks like we’re trying to tell people to be perfect, and make our own lives about works.
The way I love God is to staunchly believe in His love for me, and that He is on my side, and that I can do anything because of that. My heart will be hardened if I give into discouragement.
“Today, if you hear his voice…”
“He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter heard his voice and heeded what he heard. He let down his nets, and it changed his whole life. It changed the world. What will Jesus tell me today that could change my life, change the world? In great love, God has a good positive path for my life.
“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Although this man doesn’t hear the voice of Jesus at this point, it is the day of opportunity for him as well, and he recognizes that. He goes to Jesus and asks to be cured. He isn’t prideful. He isn’t distracted by other things. He knows Jesus is the true source of hope for his future.
“Today, if you hear his voice…”
Today, I can walk with Jesus and listen for his voice of love, letting it lead me. I can express my love to Him by staying on track and enjoying the road trip.
Yet I am a sinner. After all of the discourse yesterday, after Bible talk last night about knowing who is good by their fruit, I see how short I am of doing what I should do, of expressing God’s love to others, of loving God at all times and not letting my heart be occupied by other things. I do want to just love God purely, 100%, 24 hours a day.
And God stands ready to transform me. Yesterday I did my quiet time blog on having bold confidence in God. Perhaps this confidence extends to how I approach God. Not only do I need to walk and talk with strength, knowing that God is with me, but when I am weak, I need to come to God with strength, knowing He will help me. God loves me so much that he has created a throne of grace and an intercessor. He has created a way for me to be different than the Isrealites, who had stubborn hearts and gave into their apostasy.
Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-15
Today, can I despise the sin that breaks God’s heart, God who has done so much to make a way for me to be close to Him? Can this be the day I approach God with boldness, and ask that He makes me into what I need to be, for Him?