I was enlightened when I read Jeremiah 16:12. It can be a great clue to many things in our lives. One way is not being able to hear the Lord. It says, “…each one follows the dictates of his own heart, so that no one listens to Me.”
The Hebrew word for dictates means stubbornness, hardness, and firmness. 1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” Hebrews 3:13 says that our heart becomes hard through the deceitfulness of sin.
We cannot hear the Lord when we are pursuing our own way. Period. That path of deceitfulness makes His voice impermeable. Here is a C. S. Lewis quote. “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I love to visit Job 26:14 says, “…how small a whisper we hear of Him!…” Elijah watched God’s power displayed right before his eyes. 1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “…a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces…an earthquake…a fire….”
What caught Elijah’s attention? Verse 12 ended with, “…a still small voice.” Do we miss what the Lord is doing in our lives because we are distracted by everything that is going on around us? It is His whispered words that bring clear direction and instructions for our next assignment.
Jeremiah 16:13 caught my eye. It says of those following the dictates of their heart, “…and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.” No favor! God’s favor is our protection!
Psalm 5:12 says, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” We cannot afford to be without God’s favor. Walking in our own pursuits is a destructive pathway.
Following the dictates of our heart leads to obeying the lure of our flesh. Unless we resist, we will give in and fall into disobedience which displeases the Lord. Our flesh profits nothing. There is no redeeming factor. It is vain and worthless.
God spoke to Abram in Genesis 15:1. He told him, “…Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Then He took Abram out to count the stars. Verse 6 says, “And he believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”
How can we believe what the Lord is speaking to us unless we first hear? It is time that we put away our own way and embrace God’s way. Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”