So, what do I listen to? I listen to the world’s future hopes, summed up in three words: personal peace and prosperity! (Proverbs 30:15) Or, I listen to myself – rehearsing, rehashing, resenting, resisting what is on my plate today. Is it any wonder I am so deaf – unable to hear hope’s whispers, especially the still quiet voice? (Isaiah 30:21) Complaining about my portion of daily bread is more deafening than any worldly hope!
Because God doesn’t give up, the Holy Spirit asks me why I invest so much in what will never satisfy – rehearsing, rehashing, resenting, resisting.
“Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. I'm making a lasting covenant commitment with you, the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love." (Isaiah 55:2-3 from THE MESSAGE )And that lasting covenant is mercy – free, unmerited, and unending! (Psalm 52:8)
When your heart hurts because of what others have done to you, remember His mercy. (Lamentations three, esp. 22) When your heart is hurting because of what you can’t rise above, remember His mercy which identifies with you, saved and redeemed you, and lifts you up and carries you. (Isaiah 63:9)
Is it, then, escapism to rest on such a promise, “pie-in-the-sky, by-and-by”theology?
Not if we trying putting the promise into practice! God’s promise can enable us to keep the greatest commandment, and overcome worship disorders and wrecked relationships – remembering from whence our help comes. (Psalm121:2) Christ told the churches that fulfillment of that promise comes from hearing – from listening to what the Spirit says, and doing it while there is time. (Revelation 2-3; Romans 10:17) But, you can’t hear His promises if you won’t listen! And listening hurts. No Christian can read Christ’s revelation to John and not recognize our own failure to love Him best, first, and foremost, and inability to care for others as much as we care for ourselves.
Which promise, then, – God’s, or the world’s – is escapism? Peter answered this question: "Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life.” (John 6:68) We have a hope and a future, right now. May our hearts hear what our ears miss! (Jeremiah 29:11)