Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do You Hear the Music?

"He has done everything well; He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." (Mark 7:37)

What is the source of your Christian life? Do you hear the "music" of God?

Imagine yourself in a large house in which are living both deaf and hearing people. They are all mixed together, and you can't tell by looking who is deaf and who has hearing.

Sitting in a room by himself is a man. As you watch, you notice that he is tapping his toes rhythmically and snapping his fingers in time. You know what is happening. He's listening to music and obviously enjoying himself. His whole body wants to respond to what his ears are receiving. There's nothing strange or mysterious about it.

But now, let's add a new person to the scene. One of the deaf persons opens the door and enters the room. He immediately sees the first man and walks over to him and smiles a greeting. The deaf man watches the music-lover for a few moments. "He sure seems to be enjoying himself," he thinks. "I think I'll try it too." So the deaf man sits next to the first man and begins to imitate him. Awkwardly and haltingly at first, he tries to snap his fingers, tap his toes, and move like the person next to him. Everybody has some sense of rhythm, whether they can hear or not. After a little practice, the deaf man is snapping and tapping in time with the first man. He even smiles a little and shrugs: "It's not that much fun," he thinks, "but it's okay."

Let's now add our final factor to the story. A third man walks into the room. What does he see? Two men, apparently doing the same thing. But is there a difference? Absolutely! All the difference in the world!

The first man's actions are natural responses to the music he hears. The deaf man is only imitating those outward actions - even though he can't hear a note.

That is the difference between real Christianity and legalism. When we are approaching the Christian life in the way God intended, our attitudes and actions are a response to the "music" we hear. That music is our personal relationship with the living Christ who indwells us. All legalism cares about is getting people to tap and snap at the right time.

Legalism is like saying. "If you'll tap and snap correctly, you'll hear the music." No. God wants us to listen to His music - the message of His unconditional love and acceptance - and THEN respond to what we hear!