Amos 7:12-13 12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. 13 Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
The priest didn’t care for the prophet much. He thought that Amos was speaking prophetic smack against Judah. What he didn’t know was that Amos had been crying out to God for mercy on behalf of them. Every time God gave him some warning to give them, he pleaded with God to spare them. But God had finally made up his mind. It was time to hold Judah to the standard. No longer would He let them wiggle out of following His commands. The bar had been set, the line drawn. And as Amos shared this word from the Lord with Judah, the priest didn’t care for it. His response? Go away Amos!
We tend to avoid things we don’t want to hear don’t we? Whether it is a criticism or some negative feedback, we’d rather not know. If it’s bad news, let’s just skip it and get to the good news. But there’s no sense in avoiding a message from God. When the Holy Spirit reveals something in us that He wants to work on, we should pay attention. Too often, we continue to live in denial and shut out the very voice who is trying to help us. We ignore the prodding of the Lord because it might just be too difficult to obey His commands.
Just like Amaziah should have, we ought to be paying attention. God will bring us warnings not for the purpose of being mean, but to refine us. He will bring us correction when we are on the wrong path to spare us, not hinder us. Even if it’s bad news, our response should be: “Ok Lord, I don’t like it – but I’m listening. I am willing to hear what You have to say. I am open to receiving Your correction. Refine me Lord. I’m scared, but I’m ready.” That’s an honest prayer. And it’s the place where true life begins.