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He That Hath Ears To Hear…

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

Riding along in the car today and soaking up the warm sunshine, my thoughts free to roam for a few minutes, my mind recalled a scene from nearly forty years ago.

Our twin girls were five. Our family had attended a church meeting held in a friend’s home. After a couple of hours in church, there were two little five year old children who couldn’t wait to let off some energy. There were other young children there also and they were all ready to run at the sound of Amen.

This house had a perfect race track for children. One could go from the kitchen, through the dining room, into the living room, and back to the kitchen. No doors, all open rooms, and each room must have been calling those children. They began to run, around and around as the adults gathered in the kitchen fellowshipped over coffee and snacks. They had made about three rounds when they appeared in the kitchen again. My husband, standing beside me, among the noise and chaos, snapped his fingers. It was like a scene from a movie. All the children kept running except two. Those two stopped in their tracks and turned their faces to the direction of the snap. Yes, you guessed it. It was our two girls. They had heard the snap and knew immediately they needed to discontinue the behavior they were engaged in. When they caught their father’s eyes, he lovingly shook his head “no”. All the other children made a couple more laps before they realized that our two girls were no longer running.

We have shared that story over the years with various people and received various reactions, some “good”, some “bad.” Many told us that our children were “conditioned” and “robotic”. Some said they were too constrained. We were told by most that we needed to give them more room to grow and be themselves, that we demanded too much obedience from them, that they would grow up thinking that they had to be perfect.

Forty years later I still don’t know if this particular parenting method was “right” or “wrong”. But I do know this: Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

Both our girls accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior in their very early teens. Today, when I look at the fruit of both of our (almost) 43 year old daughters, I am nearly blown away by God’s goodness. Both love the Lord with all their hearts, both seek to be separated unto God; both desire his holiness.

In John 10: 4-5 Jesus tells his disciples that his sheep hear his voice and they will not follow the voice of a stranger.

A well known missionary in Colombia, Chad Stendal, once told us a story of when he was in the U.S. military. He talked about the harshness of the Drill Instructors and the officers. They demanded instant obedience. Chad told of how his outfit was in a horrific battle situation. Heavy artillery and gun fire all around. Chad went on to say that at one crucial point in the battle their officer yelled, “Hit the ground!” My blood ran cold at what he said next. “Every man that said ‘what did he say?’ isn’t here today.”

1 Samuel 15:22 tells us plainly. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” As Christians, it is imperative that we not only know and recognize our Father’s voice, but we obey him. Immediately. It may not seem like it is a matter of life and death like the soldiers Chad told about, but brethren, it is.

I will leave you with one more story that I once read in a devotional. A father was swimming and playing in the water with his two daughters. He grew tired and decided to sit on the bank of the river for a while to rest. His daughters were playing happily in the water when all of a sudden the father spied a poisonous snake swimming directly towards his two little girls. The father yelled to the girls, “Get out of the water!” As children often do, they whined, “Oh daddy, can we play just five more minutes” “Get out of the water, NOW!” the father cried. The girls began to slowly make their way to shore. The father cried a third time, “QUICKLY! GET OUT NOW!” The girls obeyed and soon were safely on the shore. They couldn’t understand why their father would speak to them so harshly. After all, they weren’t misbehaving. They turned to offer a longing glance at the river that they had just been ordered to get out of. They saw the snake, now in the very spot they had been swimming in seconds before. At the realization of the danger they had been in, they ran and leaped into their father’s open arms where they were sure to be safe. All was well in their world once again.

Thankfully, this story had a happy ending. But think what might have been had the girls not obeyed their father’s voice. Think what happened to every soldier in Chad Stendal’s outfit that didn’t instantly obey.

Our Heavenly Father loves us! So much that he gave his ONLY begotten Son to die for us that we might have eternal life. You can’t get any better than that!

Sometimes we think our Father demands too much of us. Sometimes we think he is just looking for someone to punish. We think all kinds of crazy things. But the truth is that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Notice that scripture says, “no shadow of turning.” Simply put “he isn’t going to change.” He is good, He has always been good, and He always will be good.”

Our Father can see from the river bank what we can’t see.

It is most certainly a matter of life and death if we obey immediately or not. Trust me, I know it isn’t always fun. I know it isn’t always popular either. I remember my friend telling me that the Lord spoke to her and said, “others may, you may not.” That is hard. When you see others partaking in things that you know would be fun, but you know your Father would not want you partaking of it. He has called his children to be separated unto Himself.


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