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5 AM Devo: In the Rebellion

Thursday, June 6

In the Rebellion

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’” (Heb 3:7).

The writer of Hebrews uses this phrase to call believers to obedience. He reminds us of an Old Testament story involving Israel. God had rescued the people of Israel from bondage under the Egyptians. They were slaves and brutally mistreated. However, God freed them and promised to bring them to a land of milk and honey (Exod 3:8).

On the way to the promise land, the people rebelled against the Lord and did not fully trust Him. They grumbled all along the way for various reasons. They forgot where they came from—and where they were going.

Even though God had rescued them from bondage, they did not walk in faith and lacked gratitude for God’s provision (Exod 14:12; Num 11:4-6).

Although God continuously warned them, they did not listen. Or perhaps better, they heard what the Lord was saying, but they chose to rebel.

Running Late

I was in my office and trying to wrap something up. I had another meeting and had calculated how long it would take me to get there. I also needed to get gas on the way out of town. Finally, I knew I had to leave.

I left my office and chatted with the church secretary for a moment and headed out. By now, I was just going to get there on time. I ran out to the truck and put my backpack behind the passenger seat and quickly hopped in to take off.

I hear a strange hissing sound in the distance—like someone was squirting a water hose. I realized, to my horror, what it might be. I had a can of WD-40 behind the seat! In my mind, I could visualize the greasy liquid destroying my backpack! I frantically hopped out ran around the vehicle to the other door attempting to rescue the backpack from its greasy death.

I was right—it was the WD-40. Thankfully, the backpack was fine and only an old rag was affected. But the little mishap caused me more time loss! I decided to send a text to my lunch appointment and let him know that I would be a little late. “Where is my phone?” I wondered.

I Lost My Phone

My phone wasn’t in my holder or on the seat. I checked my pockets—nope. I searched my backpack. Nope. Now, I was frazzled and mildly panicked. “I wonder if I left it in my office,” I thought. I ran in the church, breezed by the secretary and said, “I lost my phone—I think it’s in my office.” I headed downstairs and once in the office, I looked on the desk and nope. It wasn’t there!

I ran back upstairs and looked in several rooms. Still no phone. I went back to the secretary’s office and asked, “have you seen my phone?” She had not. “I wonder if I lost it in the truck?” I said. “Can you call me about 3 times back to back—hopefully I’ll hear it!”

She began dialing and I ran out to the truck. I was ecstatic that I could hear the buzzing sound! It was in the truck! But, I was dismayed that I could not locate the source of the buzzing.

Once again, for the third time, I looked behind passenger seat thinking that maybe I had dropped it when I was looking to stop the WD-40 mess. Nope. I looked on the floorboard and in my backpack. Nope. “I hope she doesn’t give up trying to call” I said to myself.

I clawed through the stuff on my seat and then realized, the sound was coming from between the seats! Somehow, my phone had managed to fall between the cracks. I could barely see it—and could barely reach it, but somehow, I was able to grasp it with my fingertips and rescue it! I was able to answer the phone and say, “Hey, I found it—thank you!” I sent a quick note to my lunch appointment and headed on my way. Crisis averted.

Hearing and Listening

In my communication courses, I remind students that there is a difference between “hearing” (a physiological process) and “listening” (making sense out of the sounds that we hear). My wife reminds me of that at home on a continual basis. It’s one thing to hear the sound and another thing to respond.

The same is true with the will of the Lord. We are not to be hearers only, but doers of the Word (James 1:22). One of the phrases that Jesus used was, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9, 4:23). It’s a great reminder to us that God has given us His Word, not just for information, but specifically for transformation. We are to hear and obey. Today, may we hear His voice—and respond accordingly. What is He saying to you today?

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