Do You Edit God?

Do You Edit God?


Many of us claim that we want to do God’s will in our lives. We aim to listen to God’s voice and seek his guidance. But do we really hear God? Do we put his wisdom in practice? Do we let God’s message transform us? Or do we edit God? Do we select what we hear? Or do we embrace God as he is? Or do we strip down God from attributes that disturb us? Do we dishonor God by deleting some parts of his message in our minds? Do we try to make God an idol we can manipulate?

Show me my transgressions.
Lord, have mercy.

Heavy questions, don’t you think? I have been praying that God would show me my hidden sins. Every day the Holy Spirit shows me something to pray and repent about. As our lenten journey continues I find myself -day after day- being found guilty as charged. Today I am confronted by the sin of selective hearing or editing God and his message.

Show me my transgressions.
Lord, have mercy.

These questions today were raised in my heart after reading about Saul’s behavior. He was editing God’s message big time when he disobeyed God’s command. He rationalized that it’d be more savvy to spare -along the Amalekite king- the best sheep, cattle, fattened calves to sacrifice to the Lord. But by rationalizing and editing God’s message he sinned against God. And when he was confronted by Samuel, he did not take responsibility for his decisions, instead he offered excuses.

Then Samuel replied,
“Does the LORD want

entirely burned offerings and sacrifices
   as much as obedience to the LORD?
Listen to this:
obeying is better than sacrificing,
   paying attention
   is better than fat from rams,
because rebellion is as bad
as the sin of divination;
   arrogance is like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected
what the LORD said,
   he has rejected you as king.”
(1 Sam. 15: 22-23, CEB)

The more Saul’s heart hardened, the more religious he became. But God does not want empty rituals or external shows. God does not want to be reduced to an idol. God does not care how things look outside, God cares about what happens inside of us. God wants us to be really alive. God wants us to really listen to him. God wants obedience and trust.

Show me my transgressions.
Lord, have mercy.

But just hearing God is not enough. We need to hear his message right and put it in practice. We need to ask God to remove anything and everything that hinders our hearing. And we need to let the message sink in and change us inside out. We need to let the seed of God’s word grow in us. We need to let the Holy Spirit mature us and strengthen us. So we can stop editing God’s message however we please and truly listen to God. By leaving behind partial truths we can fully recognize and understand the truth of God. And then we can be living in the Truth itself. What a gift!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for calling us to repent our lack of surrender.
Partial faithfulness or manipulated message is not enough.
Thank you for showing us our transgressions.
Lord, have mercy! Forgive our sins!
Rid of everything that hinders us from hearing you right.
Mold us into your likeness.
Show us what it means to truly listen to you.
Enable us to hear your voice and fully embrace your message,
and then go out and live it and share it.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you use selective hearing when it comes to God’s message?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the whole Message of God change you inside out!

Image courtesy of Joe Cavazos. Linking up today with What’s on Your Heart Tuesdays & Soli Deo Gloria.

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