Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Idolatry and the will of God

Today's spiritual life and the lack of God's voice

John Baillie writes of the "Challenge of Revelation," how humans [Christians] turn the will of God into something so acculturated to personal and family desires, and do so in a subtle and all-consuming manner. In this schema, the mind becomes completely closed to anything not according with natural desires or social wishes. It is a very challenging thought, and cuts to the center of every human heart.

To listen and to obey, to be alert to whatever God may have to say to us, and then to adjust our lives to what we hear — if that be all that is required of us, we cannot surely say that it is too much to ask. For it means that if we hear nothing, there is nothing that we are expected to do.


So many people are willing to say, 'I'm listening and obeying,' but very few are willing to seriously examine what true listening is -- and thus, true obedience.

Baillie goes on to say that people set themselves up to say, 'God is really not speaking,' even about vastly important issues in life; to wit, even the most important decisions any human can make... all that is left then is for the individual to continue basing life on personal desires. After all, God isn't speaking specifically!

The point he makes is that if God has not spoken about the greater things, clearly, then the human has turned away from the voice of God in other things, not willing to hear something other than what the natural self desires.

It is a very convicting understanding of revelation. Very convicting!

On the positive end, Baillie seems to say that any individual can receive the revelation of God -- hear His voice and discern His will, if only s/he is willing to hear God in the other areas of life, and then radically obey those things. "In going, they were healed," and in obeying in the first things, we gradually hear.

It is only in allowing the idolatry of self [and family, culture and convention] to be addressed, and following through on that, that we can hear the voice of God.


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