By Rachel Harkins
While living in the NC Mountains, we attended a little independent Baptist church on the side of the road…what wonderful memories we have!
During those years, our family sat in three different areas of the sanctuary: my husband and Caleb sat on the front row of the right section, Stephen and Joshua sat up front on the left side in a pew where the back was up against the side wall (the “amen corner”) and the girls and I sat three rows back on the left side. In order for this momma to get the attention of a misbehaving child, she needed an attention-getter. It didn’t take too long for our children to learn that a clearing of the throat meant someone was in trouble. As six pairs of eyes turned to momma, the guilty party was given “the look” (if you’re a momma, you know exactly what I mean – the “straighten up or else” look) and then all eyes turned back to the front. The guilty had been warned.
Attention getters. My siblings and I have a childhood memory of a shoe being thrown across the living room to get the attention of one of us kids who was talking while Daddy was praying. I honestly can’t remember WHO was guilty that time but apparently a clearing of the throat was not enough.
So often, our Heavenly Father needs to get the attention of a misbehaving child. How tragic for a child to ignore those warnings. Consider this from Amos chapter 4:
vs. 7-8, “…I have withholden the rain from you…yet ye have not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”
vs. 9, “I have smitten you with blasting and mildew…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”
vs. 10, “I have sent among you the pestilence…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”
vs. 11, “I have overthrown some of you…yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”
What does it take for God to get our attention? When we ignore the Holy Spirit’s nudgings…His “ahem, that is wrong”…we are allowing our heart to begin hardening. The longer we regard that sin instead of confessing, the less sensitive we become to His warnings. Now, instead of a mere “clearing of the throat”, a louder warning must be given.
The remedy for this hardened condition is to restore fellowship with the Lord by confessing any unconfessed sin. And then, maintain that close fellowship by responding to the “ahems” with immediate confession.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Article submitted to IndependentBaptist.com