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For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. --2 Timothy 4:3-4
Every one who has come to the years of responsibility seems to have gone on the defensive. Even some of you who have known me for years are surely on the defensive--you have your guard up all the time!
I know that you are not afraid of me, but you are afraid, nevertheless, of what I am going to say. Probably every faithful preacher today is fencing with masters as he faces his congregation. The guard is always up. The quick parry is always ready.
It is very hard for me to accept the fact that it is now very rare for anyone to come into the house of God with guard completely down, head bowed and with the silent confession: "Dear Lord, I am ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today!"
We have become so learned and so worldly and so sophisticated and so blase and so bored and so religiously tired that the clouds of glory seem to have gone from us. Christ the Eternal Son, 108-109.
"Lord, quiet my own heart before You and give me that humble spirit of listening. Whenever I come before You (including this morning!), may it be with my 'guard completely down, head bowed.... ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today.' Amen."