Sometimes, we need correction. Honestly, we need direction and correction all the time. There was a time when I was a teenager my mom saw me talking in church. From her choir loft perspective, she had full view. Privately after church, she told me she saw me talking over and over and that I needed to stop. Then, she warned, if I did it again, she would come down out of the choir loft in the middle of church, get me, and sit me on the front row. I knew she meant it, and boy, I told myself I would NOT do that again. Her conclusive warning: “Don’t make me come down out of that choir loft.”
Well, Sunday rolled around and I slept a few times since that conversation. Sitting by my best friend, surrounded by my friends, and in the middle of the pew, I all of a sudden had a funny feeling. With my head still down, I looked at my friend, then at the next friend, then felt a little warmer and more uncomfortable. As my eyes followed each friend to the end of the pew, I realized they were looking at me and there she was. In her flowing choir robe, my mom looked like an angel—an angel of death. Then, she pointed her finger at me and rolled it back motioning to come to her like the haunting third spirit of Scrooge’s Christmas Carol—death and judgment all rolled up in one. I immediately grabbed my stuff (pastor still preaching), moved to the front row, and sat down, while my mother returned to her place in the choir loft. I’m sure no one heard the sermon that day, but they did hear the message my mother sent to the world. First, don’t mess with her. Second, to discipline well pays off.
The Lord speaks in a still small voice. He speaks when we read His Word. He speaks through the teaching and preaching of His Word. He speaks, at times, through family, parents, and friends. He can speak in all kinds of ways. When He does, it will be consistent to the truth in His Word not contrary to it. And when He does, listen.
The Lord is very much the same. When the Scripture says He speaks in a still small voice to us, He really does (1 Kings 19:12). He gently speaks when someone is preaching or when we read our Bible. We feel it. Like my mom did, He will speak privately giving us our dignity. Yet, we often ignore it.
Dear friend, let me implore you to listen. He is speaking. He’s been telling you things. He probably has more to say, but you have to listen to whatever this current thing is. What did He tell you Sunday in worship? What did he say in your small group? What did He say when you last read your Bible? What is He saying now?
Listen. Respond quickly, because if you don’t, then He will come loudly and publicly and force your hand and get your attention because you didn’t listen to His private rebuke in the secret place. As Hebrews 12:7-11 reminds us, just as a father disciplines his own child so the Lord disciplines those who are really His. It is because we are loved that we are corrected rather than left to our own devices. Discipline is painful for the moment but brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness. So, listen to His quiet correction. That means obey. Act on what He says. He is graciously speaking. Don’t make Him be like my mom that said, “Don’t make me come down out of that choir loft.” When my mom said it, she meant it—so does the Lord.