What gets people into trouble? It depends on who you talk to…literally. More specifically, who do you listen to? Proverbs 17:4 highlights the reality that we are highly impressionable folk. We’ll see that listening to God brings life and listening to the devil brings death.
God Speaks Truth & Life
Why should we listen to God? He alone provides eternal life. That’s a good reason, right? To avoid certain destruction we must listen to Jesus.
John 6:63 (NIV)
The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
Christ is the only way, but this message isn’t well received in our culture.
You’ve probably heard people spout off new-age nonsense: “Your truth is good for you, and my truth is good for me.”
Truth is absolute. Truth isn’t relative. Truth isn’t changing with the times. Many people hearing Jesus also rejected His claim to be the only source of eternal life. They were wrong too!
John 6:66 (NIV)
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
Like it or not, Christ alone offers eternal life by faith in Him. The Spirit enabled Peter to recognize this reality. May God allow us the same awareness and conviction.
John 6:68 (NIV)
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus tells the truth and we always listen. Not really. We don’t do that. Humans never have…
The Original Liar
God created a perfect world for Adam and Eve to enjoy. What could go wrong?
Adam and Eve listened to a liar.
John 8:44 (NIV)
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Satan told Eve she could eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to become like God. The devil claimed Eve would not die.
Genesis 3:4 (NIV)
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
Adam and Eve both knew that God had set one important rule and they both knew the consequence of disobedience was death.
Genesis 2:17 (NIV)
“…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Limitations of Listening:
Doer or Hearer … Which Are You?
Listening to the Lord is great, but a second step must occur for the benefits of God’s wisdom to take root in your life. Wisdom must be put into practice.
James 1:22 (ESV)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Luke 6:46-49 (CEV)
Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say? Anyone who comes and listens to me and obeys me is like someone who dug down deep and built a house on solid rock. When the flood came and the river rushed against the house, it was built so well that it didn’t even shake. But anyone who hears what I say and doesn’t obey me is like someone whose house wasn’t built on solid rock. As soon as the river rushed against that house, it was smashed to pieces!
Our Actions Never Save Us
Of course we will never listen or follow Christ perfectly. The good news for all of us is Christ succeeded where Adam failed. Adam listened to the Serpent, while Christ totally rejected Satan’s lies in the desert. Christ crushed the Serpent’s head with His death and resurrection. Our salvation comes by faith in Christ alone.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (ESV)
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
God bless you as you carefully consider the voices in your life. Don’t be overwhelmed, you won’t be perfect. Confess Christ and rest in Him.