Truths to Live By - One Day at a Time

Truths to Live By - One Day at a Time
-William MacDonald

"And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” (Ez.33:32)

One of the ironies of declaring the word of the Lord is that people are often intrigued with the speaker but not with the message that requires action on their part.

This is true with public preaching. The people admire the preacher. They remember his jokes and his illustrations. They hang on his enunciation. Like the woman who said, “I could almost weep every time my minister says that blessed word ‘Mesopotamia.’” But they are paralyzed as far as obedience is concerned. They are immunized against action. They are anesthetized by the pleasant voice.

This is a familiar syndrome to those who carry on a counseling ministry. There are some people who get a secret satisfaction out of being counseled. They thrive on being the center of attention for that brief hour or so. They enjoy the fellowship of the counselor so much that they become chronic counselees.

Presumably they have come to get advice. But they don’t really want advice. Their minds are already made up. They know what they want to do. If the counselor’s advice agrees with their own desire, then they are fortified. If not, they will reject his advice and continue on in their stubborn way.

King Herod belonged to this class of dilettantes. He used to enjoy listening to John the Baptist (Mk. 6:20) but he was a superficial dabbler. He had no intention of letting the message change his life.

Erwin Lutzer writes, “I’ve discovered that the most frustrating problem in helping those who come for counsel is simply that most people do not want to change. Of course, they are prepared to make minor adjustments - particularly if their behavior is getting them into trouble. But most of them are comfortable with their sin as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. And often they’d prefer to have God keep His activity in their lives to a minimum.”

Some counselors have developed a stratagem to bridge the gap between hearing and doing. They give the counselee a specific assignment - something that he must do before he appears for another session. This tends to eliminate those who are not serious. It prevents wasting time for them both.

It is a serious thing to reach the stage in life where we can hear God’s Word and not be moved by it. We must pray for continued sensitivity to the voice of the Lord and a readiness to perform whatever He says.