Thursday, 17 October 2013

Who are you listening to?

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information. It seems everyone has an opinion on how we should live our lives and the decisions to make. The society, our family, the government, religious organizations, friends, …everyone seems to have ideas on what we need to do in this life. It can sometimes become quite tiring and confusing to make right decisions. 

Beyond the confusion of our decisions lie the consequences. If the information you are listening to is not right for you, you can end up making poor choices and wind up pretty frustrated. Just because the information is coming from reputable sources doesn’t always mean it is appropriate for you. Just because others have done the same thing doesn't make it suitable for you either.

I know of some people who have made poor choices, against their better judgement, because their parents gave them the wrong information. I also know of Christians who are living in regret because their pastor gave them wrong the wrong advice. These people most likely did not mean any harm when they gave advice. But like all humans, they were limited in what they knew at the time. It is tempting to think that our parents know everything, but they don’t. Yes they may have taken care of you when you were vulnerable but they can still mislead you with wrong information.

This was the fate of Ahaziah, king of Judah who ruled for only one year, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 22. This king had obviously heard of the tragic consequences of his father’s evil ways, sadly he followed in his foot-steps, encouraged by his mother. His mother obviously loved him; she wanted the best for him no doubt. But she was the daughter of Ahab, the notorious king of Israel who even sacrificed some of his children to Baal and was married to Jezebel. Because she did not fear God, she and her family wrongly advised King Ahaziah and this led to his downfall in just one year of his reign. I can imagine some of you saying, "Well he knew his mom was an idol-worshipper, he shouldn't have listened to her." True, but what about when the source of your information is a godly person?

This next story is a classic example of listening to a godly person, instead of listening to God. It is the tragic story of a young prophet who was led astray by an old prophet as recorded in 1 Kings 13:1-32. This young prophet was warned by God not to eat bread or drink water or even return by the same way he had used previously. But he listened to an older prophet who lied that God had given him a different message. This young prophet had refused to disobey God when the sinful King he was sent to, asked him to stay for food. But he let his guard down, because he thought, "this is a godly man, he must have been sent by God." Instead of following through with what God had commanded him, or even seeking God’s face to find out if this new information was from Him, the younger prophet believed the “Man of God’, got deceived and ended up dead.

The Bible makes us understand that it is God’s desire that we thrive and live out His purpose and plans for our lives. He made us and has written a blueprint of our purpose here on earth. No other person knows what is best for us like God. It is so easy to be deceived from God's best for our lives. Deception does not always announce itself boldly; it is very subtle and seemingly innocent. But it will destroy our destinies and ruin our lives. It doesn’t matter where it is coming from, we have to stand our guard and be attentive to God.  It is only by listening to God that we can identify deception on time and resist it.

Perhaps you are wondering, “How can I hear God’s voice?”
It’s not difficult, He has promised to draw near to those who draw near to Him. If you are sincere, you will find Him. God doesn’t want us to struggle to find Him, not at all! He is always nearby, all we need to do is call Him with a true heart, study our Bibles & good Christian literature, and get involved with other like-minded Christians.

May God help us to identify and listen to His voice, even in the noise that goes on around us, amen.

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