In considering the life of John the Baptist as an example of a life on fire, I would like to move on to the responsiveness of this life. “…the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went in to all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:2b-3
Notice these phrases – “the word of God came” “and he went”. John didn’t sit around luxuriating in the warmth of a word from God. He recognized that the word made a requirement of him. The word came…and he went. The word makes a requirement of us as well – obedience.
Somewhere after being born again, as we become more acclimated in the Christian environment, we can find ourselves receiving the word of God in a way other than how God meant for us to receive it. Consider what was happening in the day of Ezekiel the prophet:
“As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.” Ezekiel 33:30-32
These were the religious folks; happy to get together for church, ready to hear a message. But they had no intention of allowing that word to impact their lives. It was just their religious form of entertainment. And it is just as prevalent in our day. How many people do you know that run from church to church, conference to conference, book to book, always looking for the latest word in religion. They aren’t necessarily just interested in the religious cotton candy that’s out there, but find an in-your-face message just as tasty. However, the word is not allowed to nourish and bring growth to their inner man. It makes its way to the belly and is eliminated without ever having affected the heart. It is spiritual bulimia.
But those whose lives are on fire by God will listen with a heart to obey, to hear the very voice of God speaking to them through the message. “Speak to me God!” is the cry of their heart, and they treasure one word from heaven over 10,000 messages from the most learned theologians. Then, and only then, can they go with something to share with the world.
Oh let us hear! Let us respond! And let our hearts burn for His speaking!
To be continued…..
My former pastor used to say, “obedience is when you DO.”
I’m sure I’ve read the passage you shared from Ezekiel, but I didn’t remember it. These words are very relevant to our day.
Thank you for your thoroughness in explaining the scriptures.
Blessings to you too David. 😊