“I raised up some of your sons as prophets,
And some of your young men as Nazirites.
Is it not so, O you children of Israel?”
Says the Lord.
“But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink,
And commanded the prophets saying,
‘Do not prophesy!’” Amos 2:11-12
“That this is a rebellious people,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.”” Isaiah 30:9-11
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12
The scriptures above may seem like a message from God to people long ago, but it is just as much a message to some of us today as it was to them back then. The number one way the Lord speaks to us is by His Spirit to our hearts in line with the Bible as He always and only speaks in accordance with His Word. But the Lord in His sovereignty can speak to us any way He desires including by sending messengers with messages to warn us, convict us of our wrongdoing, chasten us, provoke us to repent and turn to Him, and bring us to acknowledge our sins and to cry out to Him for mercy and forgiveness.
The people back then were desperate to keep God’s messengers from bringing them the messages they needed to hear because they were in rebellion against God and wanted to remain in their wickedness with their backs turned on God. The last thing they wanted to do was to repent and turn to Him. So they wanted to shut down God’s messengers so they wouldn’t have to hear God’s truth and receive His correction. What did they NOT want to do?
* To hear God’s messages
* To repent and obey God
Is it not true some of us once were or even right now are in the exact same place? Wanting to stop the mouths of God’s messengers and to stay in our sins? Rather than to repent and hand our hearts and lives over to the lordship of Christ?
This is a warning, friend. Countless times I rejected the people God sent to issue warnings and bring correction and rejected the messages He sent through them and in the process rejected and rebelled against Him. He has since led me to repentance and is teaching me day by day to surrender breath by breath to His lordship as His Spirit through His Word leads me to walk in His ways and conforms me ever more to Himself.
God can use anyone He pleases to warn us of our wrongdoing and chasten and correct us and lead us to repentance and bring us to surrender breath by breath to His lordship, whether this be a preacher, spouse, parent, child, boss, friend, classmate, cellmate, teammate, sister or brother in the Lord, stranger, anyone at all.
No matter the messenger and no matter the message God may send, there are two things we need to do when He sends messengers and messages with warnings.
* To hear God
* To repent and obey God
When God sends you messengers with messages through whomever it may be, don’t shut them down and turn them away. Thank God He loves you so much He in His grace, compassion, sovereignty, and mercy desires to chasten you so He can bring you into His fold and once in it to conform you to and bring you into ever more intimate fellowship with Himself.