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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

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Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
Psalm 148
John 16:12-15

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"We must hear you on this topic some other time." —Acts 17:32

Are you putting God off? Do you tell Him "some other time"? Are there things you can't bear to hear from God? (Jn 16:12) Are you setting up defense mechanisms to keep from hearing God?

The Holy Spirit "will announce to you the things to come" (Jn 16:13), things you could not previously bear to hear. Remember Stephen's martyrdom. "The onlookers were shouting aloud, holding their hands over their ears as they did so" (Acts 7:57). We make noise to drown out God and, if that isn't good enough, we cover our ears. How can God get us to close our mouths and open our ears? How can He get us to move our hands from over our ears to over our mouths?

God sends His Spirit to convict us, to prove us wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8). When we repent, our ears open and our mouths close. The Spirit also heals us. We no longer fear the pain of hearing the truth. Ostriches with heads in the sand, turtles with heads in their shells, and people with heads in sin, hurt, and fear — how can we hear? Only by the Spirit (Zec 4:6). "When He comes...being the Spirit of truth He will guide you to all truth" (Jn 16:13).

Prayer:  Father, I'm sorry for locking myself up in my sin and refusing to come out.

Promise:  "God may well have overlooked bygone periods when men did not know Him; but now He calls on all men everywhere to reform their lives." —Acts 17:30

Praise:  The quiet time that Joyce spends listening in adoration has been the best spent time in her otherwise busy life.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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