I’ve read the book of Exodus as many times as I’ve read any Old Testament book except for Proverbs. It’s easy to read, great stories, compelling narrative, and an exciting hero. Still, I’ve missed a lot of things as I’ve read the book. O. Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest pointed out one of those things: “We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him. We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us” (February 12th, My Utmost for His Highest).
This begs an interesting question, “do you desire to hear from God?” I don’t mean in the abstract, vague sense of wanting God to show you what’s next or give you something, but do you actually want God to speak into your life. In Genesis 20, God gives the people of Israel the 10 commandments and he comes down onto the mountain…the people react by backing away. The people of Israel ask Moses to go listen to God and then tell them what God says.
I fear that too often we do this ourselves. We sit in church and ask the preacher to go talk to God and then tell us what He said. We ask our small group leader or our Sunday School teacher to go before the Holy Father and listen, then to come to our group and let us know what they heard without ever personally giving God the opportunity to speak into our life.
You see, I think that we at least subconsciously understand that if we go before God and He speaks, we then must obey or we must tell God that we will not obey. When we hear it from a teacher or a preacher, it can be ignored because it was from them, at least we rationalize it this way. But, if we go to God’s word and kneel our hearts before Him in prayer and He speaks, we must either do it or disobey Him right before His face. Faith is an active process not a passive position. Faith requires that YOU engage with God, not that the preacher engage with God and then tell you about it.
May I encourage you…and myself…stop ignoring God because He might call you to do something. I can most certainly guarantee you that He will call you to do something and probably something uncomfortable. But if just a handful of people begin to obey God in our churches, I believe that radical revival is possible. I believe that our churches can transform our communities, but you are going to have to personally engage with God and obey. Take your faith from a passive position to an active process.