Learning from experience makes us smart. Learning from others’ experiences makes us wise.
4 My children, listen when your father corrects you.
Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2 for I am giving you good guidance.
Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3 For I, too, was once my father’s son,
tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4 My father taught me,
“Take my words to heart.
Follow my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
We know to listen to the Spirit’s voice throughout the day. Many of us have learned it since our time in the nursery at church. We are taught to read His Word and listen for His voice. We learn to discern what is His voice and NOT His voice. This process is the Practice of Christianity and our defense against the accusation that our churches are full of hypocrites. Hypocrites are people who wear two faces, and yes, our churches have our share of them, but followers of Christ are NOT hypocrites, but people practicing implementing their faith in their daily lives. Walking with the Spirit is the only way to do it.
When reading about the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-28, I am struck by the phrase, “I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling” (21). The “her” is Jezebel, which may be a real person or a representation of a group of people, much like the followers of teaching of Balaam (2:14) and the Nicolaitans (2:15) in the church in Pergamum. Either way, “she” was unwilling to repent. She would not change the way she was thinking, which would change the direction of her life. So, she experienced the consequences of her deeds.
Learning from our own life experiences will make us smart, but learning from Jezebel’s failure to repent will make us wise. Are we willing to put everything in our lives on the altar for Jesus to tell us whether it is for us or not? It may even be a good thing, but if it is not for us, then it will lead us away from Him rather than draw us closer to Him. I am for everything that draws me closer to Him!
We need to be thinking long-term, as in the kingdom of God. We are in it for the long-haul.
Abba, I’m preaching to myself today. May I get over how I feel and get on with following You through today. I vow to quit listening to the generalities of Satan who tells me, “What’s the use? You can’t make it long-term.” Instead, I will set my focus on You, Lord, as You say, “Come to Me, and I will help you be what you need to be right now. Stay with Me and I will share your load. In fact, I’ll carry the lion’s share of it (Matthew 11:28-30).” I am definitely taking You up on Your offer! Amen.