Thursday, October 05, 2017
Psalms 95:6-8a Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…
I am a dog lover. Dakota was my favorite dog our family ever had. He was a massive Yellow Lab, and he loved and protected our family. He was extremely loyal, except for one thing – he had this insatiable longing for freedom to do his own thing. He could not be kept tied up or penned in.
One day we found his five-stranded steel cable broken and he was two miles away dragging an eight foot portion of it while he had fun with a female friend. As a puppy, I had tried my very best to teach him to respond to my voice commands, and for the most part he would listen. But if he had a better idea or a better offer from someone else, he would do what he wanted and not what I wanted. When he had his heart set on something he would not even respond to the basic command to “come”. As he grew, he listened less to me and followed his own heart more. Eventually, when we moved into the city of Eau Claire from the farm we were renting, we had to sell him. He would not have survived in town, nor would the neighbors have let us keep him.
Many of us have “Dakota” hearts. We hear God saying “come” but we are only listening to the other offers. We follow our own selfish and corrupted hearts running after the fun we can have with other friends. We leave the security and care of the Master’s pasture to try and satisfy the impulses of our flesh. Then, even when the Master finds us in our filth, and lovingly asks us to come, intending to clean us up and restore us, we run again. Every time we hear His voice and choose our own way, our hearts become harder, and before long we find ourselves wandering in a wilderness of sin with no hope of rest.
Just think of how many devotional times you have had with the Lord when you have read His commands and heard His voice in your heart and then chosen not to listen to Him because it didn’t satisfy your personal agenda at that time.
Now think of how many more times you may have missed hearing His voice because your heart has become desensitized and hardened towards Him because of multiplicity of those previous choices. So many of the circumstances and situations in which we find ourselves are likely a direct result of our own choices and the growing hardness of our hearts.
But stop for a moment. Take a break from your business. Kneel down in a quiet place, and listen. Do you hear it? The Master is calling.
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Bow down and worship Him as the LORD your Maker. The Good Shepherd is calling you back to His pasture where He will care for you.