What use is a cold hearted prophet?
One who is willing to hear the words of God, but not to grasp His heart to deliver, rescue, or heal?
It isn’t a foregone conclusion that if someone is gifted in a particular way that they have the character to carry the gift well and to bear the most fruit.
Jonah was this way inclined, gifted for sure, he could hear the word of God, but where was the tenderness of God?
Surely we want to be like the disciple John, not Jonah; the beloved, not the embittered.
John started out described as a Son of Thunder. He was willing and eager to call down fire on some he disagreed with, but he was transformed by spending time with Jesus, becoming the most intimate and tenderhearted disciple.
I wonder if John realised he was being changed and if he asked God to make his heart tender. Did Jesus wait for him to see his need or did He just get on and change him?
How about us?
Are we willing to be changed?
What if God says He wants to rescue those we consider too unlike us, will we refuse to be involved in the process?
Or will we stay in His presence, asking Him to tenderise our hearts until we are willing to go, to go and declare His word to those we might even see as enemies, and in truth they may be enemies, even if not our own.
We are able to grow a grudge, and to nourish deep resistance towards those who live in ways we think little of, ways of life which we know for sure (don’t we?) that God is not impressed with and so we can comfort ourselves we are sensing His heart, but are we?
Will we resist God’s restoring word for them?
Our own heart condition will make such a difference to those around us. If we are hardened, who will they hear the word of the Lord through?
God’s heart to redeem is great and His heart is to see all people saved. It IS possible for hardened ones to turn. Look at Saul, who later became Paul. One encounter was all it took, but Saul needed Ananias to have been listening to God, and to be willing to go and speak to one who had been darkly impressive in his dealings with Christians. No one who knew Saul’s way with believers would have been keen to go and offer to pray for him, but Ananias had a listening, responsive, heart.
Who needs you to be listening and responsive to God?
Lord, make my heart tender. Tender to hear, to pray, and at the time you show, to speak.