I’m reading through the book of Exodus right now. I was recently reading through the part where God has told Moses and his brother Aaron to tell Pharaoh to free the Israelites. Pharaoh doesn’t want to free them, and his heart is hardened. God sends plagues to Egypt in the hopes of Pharaoh’s heart being softened to let the Israelites go from the land. I’m reading about the plagues that were sent, and it is mind blowing that Pharaoh doesn’t obey. We’re not talking about some little illness that a few people get, these are crazy plagues: the Nile river turned to blood, frogs everywhere, gnats everywhere, swarms of flies everywhere, all the livestock (of the Egyptians) dies, hailstorms so strong they struck down everything in the fields including man and beast, swarms of locusts to eat all the plants that were still alive, darkness for three days, death of the firstborn. If you’re anything like me, when you read passages like these, you think, “I would never be like Pharaoh.” I hope that is a true statement. I hope that I would recognize when God is speaking to me and clearly showing me what He wants me to do. It’s easy to think we are nothing like Pharaoh, but like Pharaoh, I have heard God speak to me and yet decided not to obey. I don’t want that to be my pattern.
I want to make sure my heart stays soft and open to what God is speaking to me. There are certain things I need to do in order to stay sensitive to hearing and obeying God. First of all, I have to take time to seek God and listen to Him. This is something I am continually working on. It is very easy for me to fill my time and schedule with lots of things other than spending time with God. Taking time in the morning is what works best for me. Find what time works best for you and do it. Start today. Start right now. Take a few minutes to listen to some worship music and praise God. Take a few minutes to read a chapter from the Bible, and pick a verse to meditate on throughout the day. Take a few minutes to share with God your concerns and what is on your heart. Take a few more minutes to sit quietly and see if you feel like He is speaking something to you.
Another thing I know I have to do in order to keep my heart soft and open to God is to act on what He is telling me to do. If I read something from the Bible and it is convicting to me, I need to act on that conviction. If in my prayer time I feel like God is telling me to forgive someone, I need to do it right then. If throughout the day the Holy Spirit puts someone on my heart to text or call, I need to follow through on that prompting. The more I obey, the more I grow, and the more my heart remains soft and sensitive.
I never want to be like Pharaoh. I want to be a person who hears what God is telling me to do, and does it. I know I will make mistakes. I know I will miss it at times. I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness and mercy. I do, however, want to take all the steps I can to make sure I’m hearing and obeying. I’m praying that God helps me in this process. I’m praying that God helps you this week as you take steps to hear Him and obey what he is telling you to do. Let’s be hearers and doers!
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”