Are We There Yet?

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If you have kids you have probably heard this expression many times.  When our kids were pre-school and school age we worked at a group home in North Dakota.  Working at this job was great in that you would have five days off.  With that many days off, we would plan trips to see our parents.  We got sick of hearing, are we there yet as we were driving.  To stop that we decided that we would drive all night.  We got off of work at 9:00 pm and we had our vehicle loaded.  As soon as we were done, we jumped in the van and drove 10 hours to get to mom and dads.  Then we went to bed and the kids were up and doing stuff with grandpa and grandma.
God probably heard that same phrase over and over again while the Israelites were walking around in the wilderness for 40 years.  They had hardened their hearts and had not listened to God or the people that he had sent to speak to them.  Because of this everyone who was older than 20 was not going to be able to enter the promise land.  And so they walked and they walked until all of those who had hardened their heart had died.  You would think that a lesson like that would stick with the nation of Israel.  It did not.  All throughout their biblical history they constantly went back and forth from being pliable to having a hard heart.
There is nothing more disappointing to a child than to anticipate playing with play-doh, get the containers out and realize that the lid was not put on tight.  You open the can and the play-doh is hard and unusable.  There may be a way to soften hard play-doh, but we never found it.  Instead it ended up in the garbage can and we went and got more play-doh that was soft and usable.
I think that is a great picture of our spiritual lives.  Hebrews 3:15 says, As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”  God speaks to us in all kinds of ways.  It may be through the reading of the Bible.  It may be through a sermon at your church.  It may be through a friend, a song or a perfect stranger.  The question is not how does God speak to us.  The question is what do we do when it happens.  If you hear his voice and do what he wants us to do, you stay pliable and God is able to use you.  If you do not listen, your play-doh begins to harden.  The lid does not get put back on tight and air begins to dry it out.
The great thing is, we serve a God who is just waiting to forgive and to get us back to being pliable.  While we were never able to bring hardened play-doh back to a usable state, God lives to do that in our lives.  But, to make that happen you have to do it today.  It is not something that you can put off.  That is what hardened your heart in the first place.  That is what caused the lid of your life to not be sealed down so that the play-doh dried out.
The take away is this: whenever, wherever, however God speaks to you today, listen to what he is saying and then act on it.  Don’t make the same mistake that the nation of Israel did.  Keep your heart pliable and moldable so that God can do whatever he wants in your life.  Remember, he has your best interests in mind!
We will be talking about this more on Sunday, September 20 in the sermon at Geneva Family Worship Center.  I hope that you can make it at 9:30 am.  Have a great weekend!