Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Listening Ears

To give one's attention to a sound

Genesis 22:10-12a: "And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. 
It's amazing the things that leap out from the pages of the Bible. You can read one verse a thousand times, and if you are mindfully reading you can pick up a thousand different meanings. 
"Use your listening ears!" is a phrase we have heard multiple times before. This instruction comes when someone (often a child) is disruptive and going against laid out directions. As I read this verse, I imagined how often God speaks to us and at the end of the day our ears become decorative attachments on our heads and hardly ever tuned into God. We sing, "I want more of you...Jesus!" but I often ask myself how much have I done with the measure of God deposited in me? 
Abraham's faith is something that consistently blows my mind. How is it that he mustered enough courage to wake up that early morning, ready his offspring, and walk up the mountain with the child of his old age, willing to give him up as a sacrifice for God? How did he skillfully detach himself from his sweetest vulnerability--how was obedient so complete, major and unrelenting?
The peak of it all was he picked up the knife to slay his Isaac, and the moment between the raised knife and the body of his young Isaac, an angel spoke...AND HE HEARD!!!
The way our lives are set up, it's almost as if we get an instruction and run with it to the end, totally closed-minded to the possibility of another instruction on the same project. It took us everything to commence the initial task and so we have nothing left to give to hear subsequent orders, and we slay our Isaac's when most times we didn't have to (worse still, we were not asked to). 
I am fascinated at Abraham's ability to be stayed on God (in peace) enough that possibly, in the most gut-wrenching point of his entire accumulation of decades of life when the voices that could have been speaking at him would have been painfully loud and chaotic, there was enough room for the voice for God in the midst of it all. That when he was about to risk it ALL in a matter of seconds, the orders changed and so did his obedience. 
We get so carried away by the entirety of the whole chapter, but in this moment I am marinating, and stayed on the moments between the raised knife and the voice of the angel, and the listening ears of Abraham. 
How many times have we neglected, or even been too distracted to hear God that we miss him, and even have the nerve to say He doesn't speak?! How many times has our logic and intellect stood in the way of our obedience? When last was our obedience so complete, major and unrelenting? Can God even trust me enough to carry out an assignment of that nature? I don't know. What I hope though is that I develop listening and not just hearing ears, so that whenever I am truly spoken to I can listen and obey-swiftly.
I love you. I mean it!
(PS: Did you know that The iVow Conference 2019 (Uncaged Worship) registration portal is now open? Click here to register).