Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Secrets of The Kingdom

Luke 8:9-10 (NIV1984)

 His disciples asked him what this parable meant.  
He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom 
of God has been given to you, 
but to others I speak in parables, so that,
   “‘though seeing, they may not see;
   though hearing, they may not understand.’

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Our topic this week is about hearing God. Jesus makes it very clear in this verse that the secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us who believe. To others he speaks in parables. I've wondered about that - you'd think he'd use the Jesus for Dummies Guide for the folks that don't know and understand Him. You would think He would want to make things really, really clear. Yet here He says He purposely speaks in parables so that though seeing, they may not see; and though hearing, they may not understand. Are you scratching your head on this one? I know I did for a long time.

I have come to realize that until someone is ready to hear, there is not point telling them. They might really need to know but unless they can figure it out and own it for themselves there mind is going to block that information.

I am going through my life coaching certification and one of the things that my training has talked about it how your spiritual immune system kicks in and refuses to accept ideas that are foreign. In much the same way your body may reject a organ transplant even though you might really need it.
In coaching rather than give someone the answers the goal is to listen and ask questions so that they can find the answers on their own. The idea to change then comes from them and they are more likely to stick with it to accomplish what they set out to accomplish.  Jesus uses parables that way too. He does not just give out the answer but makes His listeners have to take the time to think it out on their own. When they do - they possess that knowledge in a much deeper and more lasting way. 

You have to want to hear to even begin to understand. Parables make people think and they make us choose. If you think you already know it all, you won't even bother to try and figure out what Jesus was saying and how it might apply to you. Hearing God is like that too. You have to want to hear, you have to make time to hear. You have to stop doing all the talking to hear. Sometimes we don't listen because we are afraid of the answer that we might recieve. Jesus wants to communicate with us. He wants us to get to the place of wanting to have a relationship with him. To get beyond the religious duty of prayer and rattling of un-ending lists of wants and needs. Is He just my spiritual Santa Clause or is He my friend who I love to be with.

In healty relationships one person does not monopolize the converstaion but takes time listening and sharing. I do believe that God wants to show us deep and wonderful secrets of the kingdom but I think He waits for us to seek Him out. He waits for us to dig into His word and to mull it over and to work to apply it by faith to our life.

In the song I have posted called I Love Your Grace. I like the line that says "I love the way you help me when I call".  There are lots of times when I get stuck and can't figure out the answer to some delima in my life. It is in those times that I ask God for help. When I am reading His word and I don't get it. I don't just run to my pastor or other spiritual giants in my life for the answer. They could probably tell me but I would rather search it out and dig and trust that God will give me little helps like bread crumbs to follow. I start by asking God to help me understand. Open my eyes so I can see, and my heart so I can hear and feel and my mind so I can understand.  We pray those kind of prayers and God does not just answer like a jeannie in a bottle - poof you got your wish. He works in and through our life to bring circumstances, people, dreams and in many other ways to cause us to develop in the things we have asked Him to help us with. If you want to hear him more ask Him to help you and watch as he begins to order things in your life to allow you to practice and grow more adept at hearing His voice.

Dear God help me to understand. Open my eyes so I can see, and my heart so I can hear and feel and my mind so I can understand. Help me to really know your voice and follow you. I know you want to have a deeper relationship with me. Help me to lay down my lists of needs and wants and just spend time getting to know you better. 

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