Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) - “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
When was the last time you heard a sermon that cut you to your heart? I used to hear a lot of bite-sized words on social media that seemed to describe what God said would happen in the last days. Paul writes to Timothy (2 Timothy 4) and warns him of the people who would seek after messages that their itching ears wanted to hear. They would reject sound doctrine and surround themselves with what they desired to hear. If you listen carefully, these doctrines are all around us. They speak to the desires of our flesh and are not always aligned with what God would have us hear and/or see. And because of how they make us feel, we cannot get enough of them. We keep going back for more. One message is not enough and it doesn't satisfy the thirst we have. Those messages were never meant to, and can never quench our thirst.
Compare what I've described above to Peter's preaching in Acts 2:14 - 41 and you'll see that there are different types of messages. Not all messages 'hit' the same way. In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul encourages Timothy to preach messages that rebuke, correct and encourage and to do so in a patient and careful manner. Preaching messages that cut to your heart does not always come through eloquent or emotionally charged speeches. I use the word speech because there are some messages that are only meant to speak to our flesh and not our spirit and there are people who deliver those messages well. The type of message that cuts to the heart comes straight from the Holy Spirit. He gives us words that can pierce through the hardest heart and is powerful enough to give strength to the weak.
The word that cuts to your heart will break you so that God Himself can put you back together. It's not fancy or loud. It's just like God; a whisper in the midst of the loudest storm and billowing winds. It's not always heard by everyone and it's not meant to be heard by everyone. It will be heard by those who are prepared to receive from God and are desperately seeking His face. You have to want it bad enough and not be driven by frivolous and/or temporary feelings. It's perfectly ok to be driven into the arms of God by feelings of despair or desperation but what keeps you with Him is a yearning and desire for Him, not a 'feeling'.
If you find yourself chasing a feeling whilst scrolling through those bite-sized, emotionally charged messages, I encourage you to take a moment to experience the stillness of God's presence. It's the place to be and it's where we are healed, restored and filled up. Filled up for the marathon race that is life. Filled with more desire and yearning so that we keep going back for more. More that will increase us in knowledge, wisdom and understanding so that we can help others do the same!
This is your sign to reflect on what you're listening to and what you're feeling. Not a bad thing to feel but what is it adding to your relationship with God?