He sits alone, hoping that one of the children will at least call. Many times they do, but their conversation begins with I need this. I wonder how many times the thoughts come to mind, “I was there for them when … And now they don’t even speak.”
I’m not referring to a relative per say, although, too often He is a forgotten Father. “At least some will visit at Christmas, it’s the only time they stop by. Even then, they act like they can’t wait to leave.” In much of our lives we are guilty, not of rejecting God, but neglecting Him.
This isn’t a post to condemn but more to confess. We take for granted His goodness, but we say we’re thankful. When is the last time that we woke up in the middle of the night and the thought of prayer entered our mind? Sadly, it probably coincides with the last bout of fever or crisis.
This time of year, which is my favorite, we have lights that twinkle, stars that point to Him, and language about Jesus. My question is this, “How often do we talk to Him?” Other than a dried up two minute prayer, or a wonderful corporate service, when was our last quality conversation with The Master?
13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
One of the definitions of removed is recede. It doesn’t happen over night. Like a river washing away a bank, over time the cares of this life attempt to erode our connection with Him. Perhaps not our relationship completely, but our intimacy. That closeness that beats with the same heartbeat as our Savior.
It may surprise you to know that this verse lead up to a prophecy of The Messiah at the end of this chapter. He talks of Jesus rescuing His people. Yes He mentions the opening of the blinded eye, but in a different way than you might think.
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
The word obscurity here is defined, among other things, as spiritual un-receptivity. In other words, Jesus came not only to heal the human eye, but to quicken our vision. He wanted to rescue us, not only from sin in the form of wrongdoing, but also sin in the sense of separation from Him.
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
He quotes this Scripture, in Matthew 15:8, when rebuking the Pharisees. He withstood them, not for not talking about God, but for what they had turned serving God into. They had taught the people that serving God was more about traditions than about a personal connection with God. The Pharisees had turned a relationship with Him into something very dry.
Let us not be guilty of the same thing in our personal walk with Jesus. I want my Lord to expect to hear my voice everyday, but to also expect for me to listen in return. I don’t want to only visit on the holidays, or “hospital” days.
We have Service two days out of the week, and I need them both, but we should seek more. Our pursuit of Jesus must be more than a one time experience, or even a frequent visit. It should be a daily chasing of His will, His heart, and His voice in our lives.
So we end by returning to our first paragraph, when was our last personal talk with Jesus? Not so much to tell Him about all our troubles, but to say thank you. When’s the last time that our question to Him wasn’t about asking for anything, but seeing how He was?