Saturday, October 13, 2012
The God Who Hears Everything
One of the things that amazes me in the marriage ministry my husband and I are involved in is how calm and composed people are when they are with us in a mentoring session, but how opposite of that they say they are at home, when they think nobody is looking.
I’ve heard men and women admit to being snippy, irritated and downright angry at their spouse or children on a consistent basis, yet when they sit down for an hour or two to discuss some pretty tense issues, they remain calm or even downright gregarious. So it’s difficult to imagine this same person losing it at home. But I know it to be true because all I have to do is to remember what I was like before I became a Christian, and when I, too, thought no one was looking.
People can project a jovial, sweet demeanor of integrity in public and maintain it for a few hours through sheer willpower and a deep motivation to promote their best selves. But even that facade, when taken on the road, say, on a weekend trip with friends, a church mission trip, or maybe an extended visit with relatives, can crack. Time, familiarity, and stress win out over all efforts to be an outwardly nice person.
It was only when I was brought into a relationship with Jesus that I understood that God is the God who hears everything. We can't hide how we treat our families from God.
When my thoughts, (which will lead to my actions and reactions) are selfish, self-centered and sometimes downright mean, I don’t like how I feel. I am thrilled that I can immediately repent of them and hand them over to God, in full agreement with Him that these thoughts must exit my person and never be allowed to take root. The actions, mood, and emotional stability coming out of that cleansing process are pleasing to God, and thus, to me.
It’s not easy. It’s not easy to be slighted, misunderstood or ignored. Our flesh wants to lash out. Our flesh wants to get the last word. Our flesh wants to fight for our rights. But God’s way is different, and His Holy Spirit always--I repeat always--lets us know when our thoughts are going opposite of God.
It takes practice to say, “Okay, God, you’ve got this; I give it entirely to you.” For me there was always, and still sometimes is, a “yeah but….” or there is this notion that, “I’ll sit down with God and ask His forgiveness later, but boy am I going to say to this person exactly what I’m thinking right now.”
But God is privy to exactly what’s going on in every situation. Just knowing that allows me to hold my tongue and immediately look to Him to deal so I can let go (of my emotional reaction, paranoia, hyper-sensitivity, irrationality, legitimate hurt, etc.). It doesn’t mean I don’t talk things out with people or that I just sit back and expect God to run my relationships for me. It means I stop reacting to my self and others and respond to God. And responding to God may mean holding my tongue (perhaps until I cool off and take time to pray and read Scripture so I can objectively work out the situation later). That is incredibly freeing and keeps my heart, relationships and standing with God pure.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.” Psalm 139:1-4
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5