My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Ezekiel 33:31-32 (NIV)
I’m very fond of music and can spend many hours gardening while listening to music. As Saul found when David played, music soothes the soul. However, while enjoying music I don’t very often think that what I have heard must be put into practice, or should change my life.
Ezekiel isn’t saying that music is bad in any way. He uses the analogy of music to illustrate the point that the listener hears, but it makes no lasting difference to them. They don’t put what they hear into practice. Ezekiel tells us that this is because what they say and what is in their hearts do not match up.
Yet we are the people of God; we want our actions to match our words. So why is it that we struggle with forgetfulness? It is easy to listen attentively to a sermon in church, yet only a few minutes later fail to remember the key points made by the preacher. Taking notes during a sermon helps, yet even this isn’t any guarantee that we will remember what we have heard.
When you attend church does what you hear have a lasting impression on you? Do you hear what is being said, yet fail to let it change your life? Pray specifically against forgetfulness, asking God to help you put into practice what you hear.
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