“In listening we receive the nature of
the one who is behind the words.”
Martha Kilpatrick, “Sources”
Towering Canopies of Life and Death
That quote by Martha just floors me. I’m perceiving as never before just how REAL are the consequences of listening as I please. What I give “thoughtful consideration to” is what is planted in my heart. And once it’s planted, it will grow. For example: “You thoughtless, stupid woman! You run your mouth without thinking and you’ll never stop stepping in it, you useless git!” That’s something that I’ve said to myself over and over again, since I was a child. And my tactless tongue grew into full-blown indiscretion, because I received the enemy’s accusation. I listened to it, thought about it, spoke it, and believed it. And that belief about myself became the reality.
Carole and I talked about this the other day, and she said that the accusations – the nasty stuff about us – feel truer than any commendation. So true! Maybe that’s why the entirety of scripture seems fixated on the Words and Voice of God and our need/requirement to listen to Him. I’m a vessel, and I choose what fills me. I am responsible for whom I listen to and, consequently, what I believe.
John 3:16 is completely new to me in light of this – “. . . that whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” This is more than simple acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the tense is present: believes. An ongoing condition of salvation. In order to believe in Christ, His voice is the one I must listen to, and His words are the ones to be planted in my heart. Then what blooms into the reality of my life, my physical body and my relationships with others is HIM.
There is an enormous repentance and work of forgiveness (of myself) that I’m moving through now in light of all He’s showing me. And I’m so grateful for it! The Lord is taking me all the way back to my childhood, to the roots of the many curses I received and planted and nourished. I see so clearly how my life turned on those choices, how my physical body actually developed as a result of listening to and believing the lies over the truth. I am desperate for His redemptive Blood and forgiveness over the havoc of my enthroned mind. I want this garden of death torn out by the roots, and only He can do it.
But there is a burgeoning joy as well. I am so excited to see just what the Words of Life will look like when they bloom in my life, my body and my relationships. If death bloomed like weeds, how much more so will LIFE explode out? I get to experience the mystery and beauty of Jesus Christ in a whole new way, and I can’t wait!