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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Please receive instruction from His mouth and establish His words in your heart.”—Job 22:22 (NASB)
“Can you hear me now?” If you have a cell phone, you’ve almost certainly asked—or been asked—this question. Your cell reception can vary greatly depending on your carrier, cell tower coverage, the weather, crowds, or whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Countless internal and external variables impact your ability to receive communication.
In today’s verse, Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends, is exhorting him about the perfect retribution of God, basically accusing Job of previous sin due to the suffering he was enduring. While he clearly made some incorrect assumptions about Job’s life and heart, he did leave us with this sound and vital piece of advice: “Receive instruction from His mouth and establish His words in your heart.”
For today, I’d like for you to imagine your heart is like your phone, the Word of God is the cell tower, and the Spirit is on the other end of the call. Truthfully, there are a lot of external and internal factors that impact our receptivity to hear God’s Word and will for us through His Spirit.
Some external circumstances include the weather—the storms of this life or the distractions of the sunny seasons—or being stuck in a crowd. These variables make it harder to hear from the Lord, because the static they create tends to drown out His voice in our spiritual ears. The good news with those is that a few shifts in our positioning, like finding time to get alone with God (Luke 5:16), or altering our perspective on circumstances (Philippians 1:3–11, 4:11–12; 1 Thessalonians 5:18), and our receptivity to the Spirit will increase.
The bigger worries are the internal reception issues! You see, when we find ourselves complacent or going through the motions of our faith, that’s when the problem becomes more difficult to resolve. When we come to the place where we think we’re good, that we’ve mastered this whole “Christian life” thing, as though we have all the answers—kind of like Job’s friends—we’re in trouble. That’s an internal wiring problem that we don’t often know we have and it needs to be fixed. When pride and apathy take over our hearts, it will become nearly impossible to hear from the Spirit. Don’t believe me? Ask the Galatians or the Laodiceans.
I pray the Lord opens your eyes to whatever problem may be hindering your connection with the Spirit—I’ve found that He often does this through other believers. And I pray that when He does confront you with the root of the problem, that you’ll humbly submit and surrender to His repair work.
DIG: What factors impact spiritual receptivity? Can you think of specific examples in your life?
DISCOVER: Have you walked through a season of poor reception? How did it impact your daily relationship with the Lord?
DISPLAY: Pray over Psalm 139:23. Ask the Lord to search your heart, to test your reception, and to remove any wicked way in you.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.