(…taken from some poorly edited notes I’m prayerfully sharing from this morning with some friends.)
1 Sam. 12:23, 16:7 (1-13)
(I Kgs. 19:1-18)
Isa. 50:4, 5
Mat. 11:25-30, 13:9
Luke 8:17-18, 10:38-42
John 16:7-14, 21:25
2 Tim. 3:16
Heb. 6:1, 2
2 John 8
Our Bible already has the appearance in the minds of many as that of an “owner’s manual,” even though that’s not how it’s written. There’s a strong message for “us” in the fact that our Bible is written in the form of “witness testimony.” With this in place, it’s important that I know my own story, my own “witness testimony,” especially if I contend that I’ll be telling it all at least once, and without interruption, before an audience of One.
Then it’s even more important to “own up” to my story, which isn’t the same thing as “telling my story,” nor can be approached successfully without “getting the whole story” first. That involves “learning.” Surely Jesus means what He says by “…learning of [Him] for [He] is meek…” Some learning must be done sitting at His feet, while some only occurs while in motion following Him.
It’s also a great idea to revisit the tradition from which “Follow Me” came about.
It didn’t originate in what we would refer to as “the Church,” but it seems Messiah cherry-picked it out of Jewish history for the Church. Whereas the local rabbi at that time was recruiting what he believed to be the best of the community for religious leadership, Jesus is calling the individual, as only He sees that individual…unto Himself.
For an example of “learning how to listen,” look at your computers, phones, radios, TV sets, etc., in other words, anything that sends and receives electronic RF signals, whether by air or cable. In order for any of this functioning equipment to be of any practical value it has to be tuned in to the right frequencies.
This whole business of “tuning” is a spiritual exercise in which time and repetition factor in by way of all we’ve been dealing with so far. Messiah only asserts that we participate in His loop of communication by tuning in to Him. Most of our tuning in involves tuning out. There’s all that background noise both around us and then, more importantly, within us. As to which one the individual can tune out first, I cannot say, although for me, it was the outside noise first…until someone gave me a tip about that one day…
It took time to get to this, and it was revealed, not discovered, but I eventually recognized that I resent what I envy or resemble the most. That’s just one way I’m prevented from “tuning in.” Giving these things to the Lord and “tuning out the world” became easier once I was able to recognize a bit better how I was processing the input, especially the distractions, that I was responding to.
By now we should know this to be important when broadcasting our signals toward the Lord or anyone else, when in fellowship, meditation or prayer, when in praise or worship of The Lord, for we really are broadcasting, sometimes without prior knowledge.
In fact, we’ve been broadcasting the whole time we’ve been alive, sometimes without prior knowledge. For this cause and much more, it is so critically important to listen, or as we sometimes say, “pay attention.”
The scientists of the world have a more precise definition of “learning.” Precise, though incomplete. They say it’s “a newly opened pathway in one’s nervous system.” That by itself involves, but isn’t limited to past or present experiences or testimony. One of several things that has caught my attention is the idea of placing a barrier excluding the learning process from certain things like “righteousness” while pointing toward one’s mistakes as a better way to learn…
Now while there are some things for which we have to make diligent search, some things only require “paying attention.” I’m unsure how the English vernacular turned such a phrase to include “paying,” but it turns out that “paying attention” is cheaper than the alternative, or “paying for one’s mistakes.” Either way, the basic point is to be open. For the obvious reasons, we make due emphasis on being familiar with His Word, and not just because He’ll never contradict Himself, and is always eager to share.
But in that same light, we need to find out what’s going on around us. After all, at some point one will eventually ask, “How do we know what we know?” These and many other questions will arise. We can’t avoid them nor the answers when that happens. Besides, unlike Him, the world only determines to justify itself, and is unwilling to share, despite all the “information” that’s available. We need to deal with all diligence the facts and parameters behind “the world’s origins.” In the light of right understanding, everything, from beginning to end, even the background noise,we’re tuning out, has its proper place in God’s program of action, including the relationship He’s been having with “us” from the beginning.