“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51, NIV)
Meet Bugs – the friendly Shih Tzu puppy who resides next door. Bugs loves to run to the fence line and bark until Charli and Sam scurry through the doggie door to greet him. Trust me, it doesn’t take but seconds for Charli and Sam to add their voices to the symphony as they partake in the loudest stand offs and longest stare downs ever!
Not only does Bugs bark, but he teases and goads Charli and Sam because he knows that the fence separates them as he runs up and down the fence line. It’s like watching a game of Catch Me if You Can, with Bugs knowing that he will never be caught.
Bugs’ visits usually occur like clockwork – and usually at the most inopportune times – like around 6am on Saturday mornings and 11pm on any given week night – when I’m trying to get my much needed beauty sleep! His barks – I mean visits – have become so frequent and so perfectly timed Charli and Sam have developed an immunity to his bark. They have learned to tune out and ignore Bugs. Me – not so much!
As I reflect upon the scene of Charli and Sam being able to totally ignore the barks of Bugs, I ponder the times I tune out the promptings of God – the times I ignore the whispers of God – the times I am immune to the voice of God – the times His voice lands on deaf ears – my deaf ears!
The times I tease and goad God with my prayer life – my quiet time – my walk with Him! The times a fence – a fence that I construct – otherwise known as sin, comes between my fellowship with God and my fellowship with others – way too many fences to count!
Father God, thank You for your gift of forgiveness. Thank You for Your grace when I ignore Your voice, when I ignore Your promptings, when I turn an ear away from Your voice. Thank You for loving me through Your eyes and not through the eyes of the world. Forgive me when I tease and try to goad you into a game that you never want to play. Forgive me for being stiff necked. Forgive me for resisting Your Holy Spirit. Make me sensitive to Your voice. Thank You for always having open ears and an open heart towards me. Forgive me God for the fences that I build that not only separate me from You – but that also separate me from others. Circumcise my heart and my ears. Father God, give me ears to hear, eyes to see and cause me to not merely listen to Your Word, so I deceive [myself] but cause me to do what [Your Word] says. (James 1:22) In the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.