One of the primary ways that God speaks to us is through the Bible. Yet, all too often I struggle to listen to His voice. He offers guidance, encouragement, instruction and help through His Word. But when we read it we often filter out what we want to hear and forget the stuff that challenges us or seems too difficult.
However, as the Bible tells us -
ALL Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (emphasis mine)
All of the Bible is God’s Word to us. If we filter out what we choose from the Bible then we miss out on what God wants to say to us so that we may be adequate and equipped for good works. This is to say that we will deny ourselves from the full gift that God wants to give us in His teaching, reproof and correction in the our training to grow in righteousness.
My kids suffer from a chronic condition. It affects all three of them and the symptoms can strike at any time without warning. Sadly there is no cure. What is this dreadful condition? Selective deafness! The ability to tune out instructions, reproof or correction that they don’t want to hear.
I ask them to tidy their room and suddenly the deafness kicks in. I tell them to turn the TV off as dinner is ready and their affliction strikes. I announce that it’s bedtime and they have to put their toys away and their symptoms are acute. If I ask them if they would like a chocolate brownie, however, their hearing suddenly seems to be working perfectly!
I’m sure that this is a situation that we are all familiar with (it can also affect husbands at times too!). Yet, we can all be guilty of the same deafness when we read the Bible. So how can we be better at reading all that God’s Word has to offer and not suffer from this selective deafness?
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law…
Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.
The psalmist is asking God to open his eyes so that he can behold the wonderful things from God’s Word. Similarly we need to pray that God will remove our filtering devices and allow our eyes, ears and minds to be open to see ALL the wonderful things from the Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to change our hearts to be open to whatever God has to say to us even if it’s not always what we want to hear.
Why? Because the Bible is our counsellor. Whatever we face in life it has the power to guide us, encourage us and help us. God’s Word is the best psychiatrist’s couch we can possibly experience. If we live by God’s Word and allow it to counsel us daily, through every step of life then we will reflect the glory of God.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
No matter what decisions we face in life and how hard we are finding our choices, the Bible never changes. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He offers the same counsel no matter whether it’s the 1st century AD or the 21st century AD.
Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
The wisdom of God is unbeatable. There is no counsel that we can seek from anywhere else that will be as reliable or as trustworthy as the Bible. Because God’s wisdom is great. No other book or person can offer us the wisdom that God’s Word can.
This also comes from the LORD of hosts,
Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
Let us refuse to have selective deafness when it comes to the Word of God. If what God is saying to us through the Bible and we are sure that our interpretation of the text is correct, has spoken to us directly in some way, even if we feel uncomfortable we need to open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds and sit up and listen. Pray, eat some humble pie and thank God He loves you enough to speak to us not wanting to leave us as we are but see us grow and reflect His glory more and more.
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Photo used with permission by Sharell Cook courtesy of Stock.Xchng