Taking God’s Word to Heart

Malachi 2:1-2: “And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.”

There’s an old adage that says perhaps God gave us two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we speak. That insight holds a hold of truth.

The God of the Bible is a relational God. Because God is relational, He also speaks to us and wants us to listen. The problem addressed in Malachi is one that is true in every day. Leaders who were supposed to listen to God and then echo His instruction to the people were not listening. We don’t know exactly why. Maybe their life was a mess and they didn’t want to change? Maybe the powerful people, big donors, and exhausting religious types in their ministry would declare war on them if they told them everything that God said to say? Maybe they were lazy and didn’t like to go to all the work of studying and teaching God’s Word?

Whatever the reason, the result was ruining both the leaders and their followers. In our relationship with God, everything rises or falls with our willingness to listen. Here is a little equation to help simplify things:

Listening + Obeying = Honoring

Taking something in our ears is much easier than welcoming it into our heart. That means we are supposed to love the truth, obey the truth, and submit to the truth. When God speaks (and He always is starting with the Bible and our conscience both lead by the Holy Spirit), we have two options on how to respond. There’s a clue in this Scripture as God is called “the LORD of hosts”. That little phrase is pregnant with military meaning and refers to God ruling over holy angels and unholy demons. In heaven, God spoke to all the angels. Those who listened and took it to heart remained angels. Those who did not listen or take it to heart became demons.

When God speaks, our response is either angelic or demonic.

Is there anything God has been speaking to you that you aren’t taking to heart?

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