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Hear and Do
By: Robert Berendt (published July 14, 2016)

We humans have been created with an incredibly wonderful set of physical attributes (Psalm 139:14). We have a brain that can study and understand our environment in an ever growing manner as true science has proven. It does take years to educate the brain to an ever increasing level - and then sadly enough with time and age the human brain begins to run into problems. Our body is designed so that it ages and dies. We live through periods of greater and sometimes lesser ability. Young people are stronger with great stamina but even elite athletes hit their peak early and we see a marked decline in ability after age 35 and onwards. The brain or mind seems to continue to grow in knowledge and ability even though the rest of the body is slowing down. There comes a time when the brain too does not function as well as it once did. It is not easy or perhaps not even wise to compare the human mind with the rest of our body because there is an element in the mind that the body parts do not have. We know the brain is physical and that other creatures too possess a brain, but only the human being can reach lofty areas of understanding, planning, designing and controlling our environment to a large degree. We are not able to control things like weather, stormy seas, violent wind storms or the cold blasts of winter, but we can build ships that can weather the greatest storms, we can sail over or under the water, we can build homes that are comfortable and safe under almost all conditions or choose to build where the elements are not so severe. We can control our temperature levels and have learned that mankind in fact is in control of the world if he hears what the world is saying to him and then does what he knows is right to do.

Our problem is not so much the physical, it is the elements of the mind that sometimes override what we hear or know. We have inner forces of pride, vanity, ego and various emotional states in which we operate. We can be stubborn to the point of death or flexible to the point of weakness. We spend much time learning to be courageous, determined or inquisitive and we learn to make huge demands on our bodies and minds. We want to fly further and faster, climb higher, dive deeper and not only reach the outer limits, but challenge them and move them further from us. There is a great wonderment in being human. We admire the efforts that athletes or scientists put into their work. We admire the work of great scholars and we admire heroes and those exhibiting courage in the face of danger. We give rewards and accolades to those who risk their feat. We encourage the next generation to reach for the stars and surpass what this generation has done. In doing so, we also develop within ourselves and others the determination to follow through with our plan, complete the course, stubbornly face danger and in doing so we sometimes teach people to ignore warning signs.

Somehow it has become brave and courageous to ignore warnings and make up our own minds. Our inner drives sometimes push us into danger and we find there is a price to pay - often a very high price. We drive our automobiles faster even when warning signs are all about us. We continue to push our bodies until finally something breaks down. We hear warnings from our parents and others about certain patterns of behavior and people who are not concerned for our wellbeing - and something within us seems to kick into gear to make us ignore the warnings, work to prove them wrong, resist because our ego is touched or just continue because we are proud and vain.

We do have a Creator who has not only designed the human body and given us the capability to control things on this earth, but One who also tells of an area in which we have little control. He gives us laws for nonphysical success that have a lot to do with our vanity and egos. He wants us to be successful in the physical realm just as long as we learn to function in accordance to the physical laws He has put in place. He also wants us to be successful in the nonphysical realm where He has also put laws in place. His purpose is to prepare mankind to become like Him (I John 3:2) and to inherit everything He has made and will make (Rom. 8:17). Warning bells ring in our minds when we enter danger and when our mind does not register danger, our Creator has provided warning bells and signs. The great problem we humans face is that we hear but do not always do (Luke 8:21). To hear wisdom and do what it directs is optimal, but we have to overcome all of the inner drives and forces within us that lead us astray and may cause us to resist.

We need to understand that there is a wisdom that is greater than ours - the mind of the Creator which is so much greater that there is no competition as to who is right (Isa. 55:9). But our inner forces sometimes manage to reject even His advice. God has always sent a warning to the people of this world when they were about to cross His boundaries in a way that would force Him to act. He may send an angel or a human to bring His warning message. Most often God sends a human - it can be a prophet of God like Nathan was (2 Sam. 12:25). It is up to the listener to hear and do. Humans have shown that they shut their ears readily and though they may hear- doing is a further step that is difficult for them. Thus far in human history, our answer has been to hear and not do or not hear at all. But God is patient and though we are painfully slow at learning, He knows that one day the pain will exceed the rejections. Ezekiel wrote that they came to listen, sat before him and said they understood, but inside their thoughts did not change. They closed their ears to the words He was saying. (Ezek. 33:31-33). That is our problem as humans. We hear but find it hard to do.

On a spiritual level, the importance of this warning holds the greatest danger for converted people today. Much of the Bible is written as an admonition to those who have accepted the precious blood of Christ and are now expected change. To them is given the ability to hear and understand along with the hope that they will heed and obey. The warning comes from the word of God and the ministry He has provided. The one area that still remains is that of doing. We must fight that battle until our race is run. A flaw that a human has may be enough of an excuse for us to hear but hesitate, or hear and put it on the shelf. We do not often associate the messenger as coming from God directly. "Oh that My people would hear My voice" God said as He sent angels or prophets as to bring His messages. The Holy Scriptures are open to God's people, but also susceptible to our faulty reasoning when we ignore the thoughts of others. That is why the warning is that scripture is not of a private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20). God has left room for human thought and error - He is building eternal character. All the knowledge we are capable of possessing does not equal a fraction of the knowledge a spiritual child of God will have. Though knowledge is important, without His nature and character, it avails nothing. God wants us to hear and do so we become like Christ (Phil. 2:5,8,12,).

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