I have been challenged lately by some of the Old Testament writers. I read their interactions with God, and they don’t seem to have a problem hearing him. So, what’s the deal?!?! Has his voice changed that much over the years that I have a harder time hearing it? The scripture tells of a just and fair God. A God that would change his voice, speak a different language, or begin speaking with a SAT vocabulary just seems unjust and unfair to me (not to mention confusing). Then are these writers challenging me to get my hearing checked?
If it is the same voice that has been speaking to people for centuries, then it must be my auditory system that has begun to deteriorate, right? It must be technological advances that are to blame for the inability to hear the Almighty. Then again, this theory seems to leave me serving a Lord that isn’t compassionate to hearing loss or is willing to sit and watch me damage something that is so precious in my relationship with him. If either is true, God doesn’t sound like a creator who wants the best relationship with his creation. So, maybe, just maybe, my hearing is, in fact, created equal to man of ol’.
So, if it’s not God’s voice or my hearing, then what is it? Why am I struggling to hear Him? Could it be that He speaks and I hear, but I lack the courage to act on what I hear so I claim that I can’t hear him? Now, that does sound like some of my Old Testament contemporaries. They all speak to people in need of repentance, which nobody wants to hear because of the implications. How easy would it have been for any of them to not follow through with the messages they heard? How easy would it have been as a common shepherd to not hear when told to go to the wealthy and speak against materialism? How understandable would it have been for a layman who was told to challenge the priesthood about just going through the motions to not hear his command? Jonah heard, and ran, and ended up in a fish! As a result, he ended up going to deliver a message of hope to people he hated. Hosea heard to marry an adulterer and he did, who does that?!? They each prove that it is not God’s voice or my hearing that is the concern, but my willingness to take action!
Many of our New Testament equals struggled with taking action even when they heard it from the mouth of Jesus – the best example of one that takes action! Jesus had the courage to take action knowing his end. Which makes me wonder, if Jesus or any of these other men, would have worn Nike? If anyone should wear a brand that markets, ‘Just do it!’ it would be Jesus and these guys. If not wear Nike, I would have to think he would have worked it’s bold urge to act in conversation a time or two. Can’t you just hear it, “Peter, get out here. But Lord the waves. Peter ‘Just do it’!” or “If you have not sinned go ahead and throw your stone at this woman, go ahead ‘Just do it’!”
I, for one, have never been a huge Nike fan. I don’t really know why. I have had a Nike poster since about high school (that even now is put in my classroom somewhere each year) that reads, “Just do it.” It’s there and I see it but it really doesn’t call me to action. Like God’s voice, it’s there and I hear it but I don’t act on what I hear. Then I redirect my lack of action to not hearing. Maybe I don’t consider Nike’s call to action in the context of God’s voice.
Like Jesus and the prophets, my Dana heard the Voice and had the courage to “Just do it”. She didn’t doubt if it was God’s voice. She didn’t question or redirect her hearing. She didn’t leave it up to Jordan, Tiger, or Lance.
This Christmas I spent the afternoon watching my beautiful wife giving out ‘free hugs’ to the people of Qingdao, China. She ministered to me in a Godly way…a way truly worthy a wearing ‘the swoosh.’ She was told to go and she went, as the shepherds did many years ago. She gave gifts, as the Magi did many years ago. She showed love, as the Christ Child came to do so many years ago. She took action! She did not let being in a land of strange surroundings and uncommon norms redirect her hearing to not acting.
I may not wear a black robe or a collar, but I need to start wearing more Nike. I need to stop doubting God’s voice or questioning what I hear. I need to be like the prophets, Jesus, and my Dana and ‘Just do it!’