Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home! Proverbs 8:34 NLT
waiting for me outside my home! Proverbs 8:34 NLT
In life we enter and exit many things. We enter and exit doorways at restaurants, businesses and our homes. We also enter/exit business deals, relationships, and careers. Have you ever stopped to think about all the entrances/exits you make in life and who/what is at the entry way or at the exit? If you are like me I can guarantee you that you really have not. For example when you enter your favorite restaurant, whether or not there is a greeter there to greet you, you enter because you are there for a service. When you enter a business deal, do you stop to think about whether or not there are some guards that will protect you from harm (you know the little fine print that may/may not say, if this deal goes south your assets are protected at 100% or are not protected at all). Today I ask you; who are you letting in?
The leading scriptures mention three key words that we must examine as we look at this topic. The first key word is listen: which means to pay attention to sound, to hear something with thoughtful attention, to give consideration, to be alert to catch an expected sound. The second key word is watching, this word has a root word of watch which is defined by Webster’s dictionary as; to keep someone or something under close observation; to keep under guard. The third and final word is wait which is defined as to stay stationary in readiness or expectation, to be ready and available, to look forward expectantly. Let me pause here for a moment and take a poll: How many of you are listening for and to God, watching, the movement and manifestation of God and His promises, as well as waiting for His directives? It is when we are not (waiting, listening, or watching) that we are caught off guard in life. When you are not watching, listening, and waiting on God you are subject to let your guard (the Holy Spirit) down and you will find yourself answering the door to anyone who says: Knock, Knock, please let me in! In the message version of Proverbs 8:34 it tells us to listen carefully and those who embrace these my ways are most blessed. (To be blessed, means to bring pleasure, contentment, or good fortune. There are many doors in our lives and there are many things be it people based or situational that are knocking at our doors saying…knock knock please let me in? Let’s be real, many of us need a guard at the doors of our thoughts and emotions. The word door; is defined as “a means of access or participation”. Who/what is coming through your door. We not only have physical doors in our lives but there are spiritual doors in our lives. Our spiritual doors are eyes, ears, mouth, and heart. Each of these doors give access to the essence of you. Who is knocking at your door? Who are you letting in?
What are you watching with your eyes? What are you listening to with your ears? What are you speaking with your mouth? What is driving your heart? Are you listening, speaking, and driving those things that are rooted in the fruit of the spirit or the fruit of the flesh. God tells us in Galatians 5:16-23 (MSG)
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. (Galatians 5:23-24) It is time for us to closely examine who comes through our doors. Next time you hear a knock at the door, proceed to open only after you have listened, waited, and watched for God’s directive.
Lord I thank you for this day. I ask that you forgive me of my sins. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me Help me to listen to those things lurking around me. Teach me to test everything that is trying to enter my life. Help me to watch my actions/interactions with others. Help me to clearly see who/what should be granted access and give the ability to deny access to those harmful situations. In Jesus Name, Amen.
©Tiffany R. Easley, January 25, 2015