Thursday, May 05, 2011
Today’s Topic: Pay Attention!
Today’s Text: Isaiah 42:20 “You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.”
I cannot count how many times those two words rang out from the teacher’s lips while I was in school. It humbles me to admit that most of the time they were directed at me. I was an undiagnosed ADHD child. My eyes were open and I saw many things, but they were always flitting around trying to be a part of everything that was going on near me. My ears were one channel, hearing only what my eyes were focused on, which was usually not the teacher. Later my wife would coin the phrase “selective hearing.” Yet somehow, in the back of my mind, I heard everything she said, got all my work done, and hovered consistently around the top of my class. The brain is a fascinating creation of an infinite God and it amazes me.
As I observe the actions and attitudes of the general public, I am convinced that there is a rampant yet undiagnosed epidemic surging through the world. It is called Spiritual ADHD. It has been present in the world for many millenniums, but is now reaching an infectious rate never before seen in history. People look like they have their eyes open, but all they see is man’s activity. They appear to have their ears open, but all they hear is man’s voice. As I progress through these days I have heard the voice of God speaking clearly saying “Pay attention!” I’m pretty sure that the public is not listening.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 16, Jesus is approached by a group of religious leaders who had Spiritual ADHD. Here’s the story:
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
Even back in the days of our Lord’s ministry on earth He was trying to get people to pay attention. There were sufficient signs in the physical, cultural and political events of the day to uncover God’s purpose and plan as revealed in the prophecies of Scripture. The general public should have been able to see them and discern their meaning.
But before we go getting all high and mighty about ourselves and put these guys down, how many of us are spending sufficient time in Scripture to understand what God said about the days in which we live? And if we are, how many of us are paying attention to the signs of the times and adjusting our lives accordingly?
I believe that every event in these last days is an opportunity for us to hear God’s voice calling us to pay attention. He is calling us to become more and more active in the advancement of His kingdom and not the kingdoms of this world. Those who are paying attention are devoting more and more of their time and resources to the work of the Gospel. Priorities need to be adjusted so that our lifestyles reflect our commitment to the cause of Christ. Instead of changing our personal budgets so that God gets less we need to adjust our spending habits so that God gets more than ever. Otherwise we are not paying attention.
Look around. The fruit on the tree is getting ripe, The fields are already white unto harvest. Pray that the Lord will send forth workers into the harvest field, and pray that you will be one of them.