Why in the world would we turn down such and invitation? If we were invited to have a meal with a famous actor or singer, we would text and call our friends to share in the excitement. At the meal, we would take pictures and post them to Facebook. That meeting with just about any celebrity would be a source of stories for years to come.
But the King of Kings, the Creator of the universe knocks and invites us to dinner and we often won’t even answer the door. We’ll leave Him standing there on the doorstep rejected even long after there is relationship established. Even when we know Him, we often reject Him. How is that possible?
At the core of our rejection is our self-protection. When we believe something, our behavior reflects that belief. The belief is a doubt as we question whether or not He is for us and really wants to benefit us. Sure, we believe He is good to others, but there are certain meals we believe are better eaten alone because we question His intentions as related to us. If there will be no benefit, why share that meal? We’ll take care of this one ourselves.
“Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.” – John 12:30
He calls to us for us, not for Him. The benefit is not specific to a certain individual or professional Christian in a certain role within a certain church. The benefit of His voice is for all who will listen. The benefit is for all who will draw near. The benefit is for all who will welcome the Voice as a benefit.
Prayer is all too often taught as talking and practiced as verbalizing our wish list. It’s a self-focused campaign without real regard for the One who is being addressed. Underneath the wish list is often a basic lack of belief that He will answer us and often under than is an even more basic belief that He doesn’t want to. When the wish list is left without any apparent fulfillment, it reinforces our doubt.
Prayer is relationship. It is sharing and also listening. He wants to hear from us and also has things to tell us. When we hear from Him, the things on our list take their rightful place in our list of priorities and they no longer drive our perceptions.
God’s calling to each of us. Do you hear Him? Do you want to? Shhh . . . listen.