Hindered Prayer continued...
Zechariah 7:11-13, “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
God is not speaking about the godless in this passage. It not the godless who refused to heed and stopped their ears. God was speaking about His own people, those who were called the people of God, and it was they who made their hearts like flint and refused to hear the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit.
It is during the end of these three verses that we see the true measure of God’s disdain for disobedience and rebellion. He beholds His own people, sees that they would not obey Him, and declared that just as He had proclaimed and they would not hear, so they would call out to Him and He would not listen.
Because they chose rebellion, because they chose disobedience, because they chose to shrug their shoulders and stop their ears, God would return their actions in kind, and would not listen to their pleas.
God reciprocates obedience by listening and hearing our prayers. When we choose disobedience rather than obedience, He calls it rebellion, and because we are in rebellion, He will not listen.
Proverbs 28:9, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.”
When we choose to disregard what God has sent us by His Spirit, when we choose to do away with the word of God, when we choose to turn away our ear from hearing the law of God, then though we might pray, our prayers will be an abomination in the sight of He who is thrice holy.
Just consider the gravity of this passage: even one’s prayers become an abomination to God if they are in disobedience and rebellion of His will.
So much for the touchy-feely, mealy-mouthed, cotton-candy, feel-good notion that we can come before God any which way, disrespect Him at will, trample upon the blood of His Son, and as long as we say a halfhearted prayer, He’s fine with our rebellion and dismissal of Him.
We have come to the point of having absolutely no qualms about stripping God of His sovereignty, taking our fate in our own hands, and entering the land of the absurd both in thought and action alike. I fear it is far past hubris, and we’ve come to that point of thinking ourselves little gods just like the retired generation of televangelists kept insisting. Little did they know how well their message would resonate, because even the godless think themselves to be little gods nowadays.
Disobedience breeds rebellion, and rebellion breeds all kinds of aberrant practices and thoughts.
As wise children we ought to evaluate our obedience from time to time, and see whether or not we are wholly obedient to the heavenly Father. The consequences of disobedience are just too great for us to trifle with it.
‘Well, technically it wasn’t disobedience, but it was really, really close.’
We tend to be as little children, playing games, thinking God will smile just as ruefully as our grandparents did when they told us not to touch the electrical socket, and we would inch closer and closer to it without really touching it.
I once tried playing the same game with my mother, who told me not to come near the stove as she was cooking and not to touch the pots she was cooking with. Being a child, and thinking as a child, I tried playing the ‘how close can I get without really touching it’ game, only to have my mother rap me across the knuckles with a wooden spoon well before I was anywhere close to the flame, or the pots.
God does not play games. He makes no allowances for sin, nor will He overlook iniquity. Disobedience breeds both sin and iniquity in the heart of man, while simultaneously fueling his pride, and darkening his heart, wherein he will no longer seek repentance, or come to the foot of the cross in humility.
Revelation 21:8, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:27, “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Yes, I realize full well there are certain verses we would rather not be in the word of God, certain scriptures that don’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy but that highlight the truth of the narrowness of the way, and brings to remembrance the fewness of those who find it.
We have no choice but to adhere to the word of God, no choice but to obey the word of God, and no choice but to preach the word of God. Personal opinions cannot and should not enter into the equation, and uttering the words ‘I think’ whenever discussing scripture is the poison arrow that will eventually kill off obedience altogether.
Don’t rationalize, offer up opinions or personal feelings to God, just do what He commands you to do.
Too many today attempt to rationalize scripture rather than obey it, justify rebellion rather than submit to God, and camouflage cowardice with the cloak of tolerance. Be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, for only in doing will you receive the crown of life, only in running your race will you cross the finish line and fall into the arms of Christ.
James 1:21-22, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.