“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
“They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
“So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
“But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
As I was reading this passage and contemplating its meaning for my own life, it dawned on me how easy it is to live in this world and allow things to creep into my life, primarily through my soul, which expresses itself through my mind, will, and emotions.
Thinking about how we draw near to God, also means drawing away from things that God desires us to not spend our time doing. We know that it is His will for us to draw away from life’s hustle and bustle for those much needed times of prayer and Bible reading, sort of like hiding in the cleft of His hand for that period of time to refresh ourselves in His Presence.
Yet, most of us do not draw away from habits of what we watch, read, hear, whether it is music, TV, or even general conversation throughout our waking hours.
He is with us during that time we are not praying and reading our Bible as well. What should we be drawing away from, so our time with Him does not have the veil of earthy influence that pulls us away from His desires for our soul’s sanctification? It is strange, but true, that things we are involved in can actually cloud our thinking when we are talking with our Father and reading His Word.
I wanted to share those thoughts with you as I too am learning that there are things that can cloud our thoughts, because we spend our time doing things that are not in His Will. Even the normal things that we do are often not in His will. We just have fallen into a rut of living as the world lives…watching and hearing things that cause us to be outside of His will and that cause us to have a clouded soul.
How do you spend your time in His presence throughout your daily walk in life? Reading Psalm 1:28-33 should cause us to think about our ways in light of calling on Him for help with our soul’s condition, yet having the dust of this world clinging to our soul’s outer garment.
We cannot expect God to bless us if we are living outside His will in our daily life’s experience. How can He answer us if we are rejecting His Counsel of how we are to live? He calls us to sanctification and holiness and that can only happen as we strip off those things that clothe our minds with unholy garments of things that are not of God.
We must choose to not have complacent lives. We must diligently seek His knowledge for our lives.
When we are reproved by the Holy Spirit, we should not act naively as if we do not understand what the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do.
It is His convicting power that is calling us to draw away..run away from the things we see and hear that do not Glorify Him.
If we draw away from the things that cloud our judgments and cloud our hearts and minds, we are promised this: “But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”
As you contemplate on what I am sharing, think on the words of Paul to the Philipi church and the victory of drawing away for your life.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think on these things. Whatever you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, put these things into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.…” 4:7-9
-Elder, James Ulmer