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How Close Am I?

But can you name even one of these prophets who lives close enough to God
to hear what he is saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen? Jeremiah 23:18 (TLB)

My hubby has a hearing aid in his left ear. The right ear has retired from active duty, the left one is now in charge of the command center-being carefully groomed to take over the entire listening program.

We really should have kept a journal of all his inaccurate interpretations through the years. Some of them have been hilarious others have bordered on disaster. I am learning that I must speak distinctly. He is learning that he has to be close enough to hear.

We suffer from this same malady in our relationship with Jesus, don’t we? Our “misinterpretations” are numerous and range from humorous incidents to disastrous garbled signals. We have to be wary, correctly distinguishing truth and error, but the most important factor is that we must stay close enough to hear. Add to that our desire to hear. Do we really care enough to listen?

Okay. Point made. Tell me-how do I distinguish between truth and error?

When you “think” you have heard from God, check out what He says about this circumstance in the Covenant we made together-His Word. Read it again and again. Use the cross references. Use your dictionary. Consult a person you respect for Bible skills. God’s impressed messages will never deviate from His revealed Word. You’ll never graduate from this class. It is a continuous process where we (1) listen, (2) decipher, and (3) research. As you do this, you’ll be able to say, “This doesn’t come from God! He wouldn’t lead me to do something like this!” “God would never hurt someone like this-this just can’t be coming from Him!” “God has explicitly told me not to do this. What in the world am I thinking? He wouldn’t tell me not to do something and then lead me to do it!”

And you “stay close enough to hear.” That’s clear, isn’t it? You’re not close enough when you’re being rebellious; you’re not close enough when you never give Him a thought unless you bump into an emergency-so many of us use Him as a crisis “911 God.” You’re not close enough if you never open your Bible except to find the scripture that the pastor references in his Sunday morning message. You’re not close enough if none of your work associates know that you are a Christian. Staying close means just that-staying close, so close that other people know He is walking with you, that He is a very important facet of your life.

Our little dog, Wesley, is never more than four or five feet from me when he’s in the house. He knows I’m going to fix his supper; he knows he can get up on my lap and I’ll smooth his fur and give him my undivided attention for a few minutes; he knows that I love him and will take him on walks and play with him. He knows that I won’t scold him when the thunder starts, but that I’ll let him sit on my foot-real close. He appreciates my training him. I brag on him and say, “What a wonderful dog you are!” and give him tidbits during the sessions. He loves me and he knows that I love him, so he stays close. He’s comfortable there. Secure.

Secure. What a captivating concept! Knowing and staying close brings security. Maybe I better say that again-for my benefit and yours. Knowing and staying close brings security. How I need that!

Reflection:

Lord, I want to be close enough to You to hear what You’re saying. I know that You’re always willing for me to “sit on Your foot” when I’m scared, crawl up in Your lap when I need some special love and attention, and that You’re committed to taking good care of me (Ephesians 1:4 JBP). All of those things spell security-and I desperately need that. Thank You, dear One, for providing security for me. I just have to stay real close. I love You so much.

I get as close to God as I can (LB). Psalm 73:28(a)

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.