I’ve been thinking a lot lately about truth and ease, why folks would rather only hear happy news and avoid knowing the bad stuff. I am writing this as a joyful girl, no more liking the bad news than the rest of you. But when I look back on the growth in my life, it’s erupted from hard truth.
We prefer to have our ears tickled.
We prefer to believe that Christianity is easy, and God’s goal for us is material and physical happiness.
We prefer to grow without pain.
But we can’t. I wish it were different, but it’s not. If we want to grow, we must take our hands off our ears and hear the truth.
The Israelites were like the hear-no-evil monkeys. Prophets were talking about the nation’s demise because of their sin. We know from the past that although God sometimes plots destruction for people, He graciously relents when folks repent. The exile, where Israel was toted off to Babylon could’ve been avoided had they only listened, then obeyed.
Consider what Isaiah said to them, but read this as if it were written to yourself:
Now go and write down these words.
Write them in a book.
They will stand until the end of time
as a witness
that these people are stubborn rebels
who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.
They tell the seers,
“Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,
“Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.
Tell us lies.
Forget all this gloom.
Get off your narrow path.
Stop telling us about your
‘Holy One of Israel.’”
Isaiah 30:8-11 NLT
They wanted the happy-clappy prophets who said, “Peace, all is well.” Listening to those false prophets lead them to a very bad captivity. But they would rather have folks tell them lies about peace, than truth about their fate.
So here’s the takeaway.
- Listen now.
- Be willing to hear the truth about your heart, and make adjustments, or travel down an even more difficult path and learn things the hard way.
Which will you choose? Temporary spiritual fixes or long-lasting repentance?
I pray you’ll choose the latter. Embrace the prophet-like in your midst. Listen. Repent. Act. Don’t despise the Holy One of Israel.