Jeremiah assured him, “They won’t get hold of you. Listen, please. Listen to God’s voice. I’m telling you this for your own good so that you’ll live.” – Jeremiah 38:20 (MSG)
The other day, I realized that I went my entire day without taking the time to make any conversation with the Lord. I was actually surprised at how easy it was to slip past each minute without any acknowledgement of the Lord’s presence. As the sun was setting, I sat still and asked myself why I let those 24 hours go by like that.
Is there something I was hiding?
Was I more concerned with myself that I did not want to take the time to look up?
Did I focus more on what I needed to get done for the day instead of focus on who I needed to be?
No matter what the reason was, I realized that we all can come up with a list of reason why we don’t stop to take the time to be with Jesus. And all of the reasons stem from a much deeper place in our hearts – fear. Fear has a way of taking control over how we live, especially when it comes to listening to the voice of God.
The primary attitude I see here from Jeremiah is that he is begging the listener (King Zedekiah). Jeremiah is pleading for the King to pause and focus in on the voice of God. There is a persistent attitude coming from Jeremiah for the leadership because he understands the importance of a leaders influence and how it effects others.
Jeremiah yearns for this man in power over others, to listen to God’s voice for the sake of life.
My thought process begins to shift as I see the two reasons that Jeremiah eagerly wants us to listen to the voice of God:
We listen to God’s voice for our own good.
As a man in this culture, I am bombarded daily with making decisions for the good of my family. I can relate to a father who wants the best for his family. At the same time, I struggle with accepting the fact that God has my best interest in mind as well.
We listen to God’s voice so that we may live.
For some of us, this may be a literal life and death like it was for King Zedekiah. Other times, it is for our emotional, mental, and physical life. The bigger picture reveals that there are healthier ways of living. Jesus constantly talks about the abundant life that is offered to us each and every moment of the day.
On the days I am most honest with myself, I can see the fear that pushes me away from listening to the voice of God. In order to live each day in His presence, it is imperative to remember that the voice of God is screaming goodness and true life. I pray that today would be another step closer to the heart of the Father who loves me.