Apples of Gold

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Speak Lord

Speak Lord; for thy servant heareth.

1 Samuel 3:9

Life can be so frantic these days that we have a tendency to shut our ears to much of what is being said to us. And I'm not just talking about the times my mother in law speaks to me! I am talking about the little things that really matter, things that I easily ignore. I am so busy doing things that I forget about caring, and, more importantly, I forget about my relationship with my Saviour Redeemer.

I have been feeling pretty flat these last few days, and I longed to hear His voice. I just wanted to be alone and apart with Him. But trying to find a silent spot in this world is difficult. Of course most of the noise comes from within! There are many voices wrestling for my attention, yet I only want to hear the One.

I want to hear the Voice that makes everything right. The Voice that calms the storms, the voice that gives courage to the faint hearted and the voice that turns the flicker within me into a flame.
I remember years ago when it hadn't been long since I started to follow the Lord. Due to my ignorance in matters of Scripture and doctrine I steeped myself in study. I devoured books that I would have difficulty using as reference books today! I had a hunger and thirst for knowledge.
Because of it all I thought that I was living the perfect Christian life. Looking back, I have to ask whether perhaps this was Theological gluttony.

Rarely did I witness to a stranger about the Gospel, and my prayer life was limited to the confines of self. Good works abounded where others could see them, but doing something good with my right hand while my left hand worked in the shadows was very unusual.

I relished going to friends' houses for fellowships, especially around Communion times, because I loved to show off my theological prowess in front of seasoned elders.
But my fellowship instead of focussing on Christ, centred around me! I thought that I was the 'bees knees' and look out anyone who dared to contradict me!

I shudder at the thought today.

I reckoned that I was a great 'defender of the faith' and a fine Christian to boot, but how deceived can a person be?

Never did I sit back for a moment and say, 'speak Lord, for thy servant heareth!' I did not have time for anyone but myself!

It is a good exercise for me to question the way I live. My desire is to shine for Christ, and whether I am able to speak to people or not about my faith, there should be a fragrance about me that is different from the rest of the world. I like the saying, 'preach Christ, use words if you have to.'  There are many, am I sure, who, like me could 'talk the talk' but do not 'walk the walk.'

I am more limited now as to what I can do, and I find it very frustrating. I should have done more when I was able to do it! However, it won't do any good to 'look back in anger' as they say. I must get on with my life as it is today.

I love nothing better than to sit at the feet of my Saviour. The world may go past at a hundred miles an hour but when I'm in that posture all is well. It is the place I love the most and that is where I long be each day. I have learned more there than I have in all my study of books!

It is however a battle for me to find that position, and when I do I fear losing it! Have you ever been so blessed by the Lord in your soul as you lie upon your pillow that you fear going to sleep in case He is gone when you awake?

Often I am distracted by events around me and often by my own feelings. And it would be easy to use this as an excuse for not 'fighting' to be still each day. Some of you may wonder what I mean by 'fighting to be still.'

Simply put, because of the sin in my heart, I constantly find it a struggle both to find time and energy to be alone with Jesus - to be still in waiting before Him. It is a fight, a constant battle, but it's one to which I have become accustomed. The greatest part of the battle is with myself, because I am my own worst enemy. When minutes pass into hours, and hours pass into days and I have not given precious time to being alone with Christ, then life becomes absolutely miserable.

I become weak, afraid and useless. I have many difficulties in my life, and as a result I cannot possibly live it without His love, comfort, guidance and friendship. He is the best companion possible in this life, yet so often I turn my back on Him to follow my worthless ways.

Oh my soul, will you ever learn?

I can even waste much time seeking the Lord in places where He is not to be found. He is never found in unbelief! I become frustrated when I cannot find what I am looking for in Him, and I have a great tendency to give up and to say 'what is the use!' My souls asks, 'where is He?'  But the answer is that He is right beside me! Always!!! It is not Christ that has moved - it is I!

I may search high and low and north and south for Jesus, but if I do not go by the way of the Cross, then He will not be found! And of course Christ would be found a lot quicker if 'I' did not get in the way!

Such is the nature of the tender loving care of our Saviour that He will wait and wait and wait for perhaps days, months or even years until we finally turn to Him in earnest. He will give us a prod or a smile now and then but we often misread these things. But it is these 'little things' in life that really matter!

I can be so caught up in my own little world that nothing else really matters. But is that the way Christ would have me live? Is that the spirit of Christ? Love is all about giving, and for some of us, all we have left to give is ourselves. Would I have given what Hannah gave the Lord? Am I willing to sacrifice my Isaac? Do I present my body a living sacrifice each day? Will I constantly be 'dreaming' of being a better Christian - or will I start this day by listening to the words of Wisdom? Will I learn to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen, or will I put it off for yet another day? I have these choices to make each day.

What I have been trying so inadequately to say is this: let us seek to be quiet of spirit so that we will hear what God is saying to us. If we manage to nurture such a spirit, then it will matter little what difficulties or problems come our way.

We will know that it is all planned by God, and we will be able to say with a heart infused with Christ, 'it is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.'

Can I encourage you my brother or sister with this thought: the more time we spend at the feet of Jesus the more time we will have for others and the more productive our lives will be. We will get more done in a day than we ever thought possible.
Many in this world will never know the work that we do in His Name, but what does that matter? We are here to reflect His glory, not to take it from Him.

Author : Iain Mackenzie   Edited by : Pastor Al Moak