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Posts Tagged ‘obeying’

The Still Small Voice

November 15th, 2016

toby-mac

The noisiness of your surroundings and the busyness of your schedule will impair your ability to hear the still small voice of God.

“The Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a Voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV). Only then did the Lord commission Elijah to anoint a king over Syria, a king over Israel, and to anoint Elisha as a prophet in Israel.

God has a purpose for your life and you will only discover His purpose when you make time and priority to listening for the voice of God, and obeying what He says. God can and will speak whenever He chooses, and whatever your circumstance, and wherever you may be. You and I have to come to a place where we can and will best listen for His voice.

God’s admonition remains, “Be still and know that I am God . . In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Draw aside and alone, and listen with your heart. You will hear God and know His voice.

I pray for you to draw aside today to be alone and attentive before God where you will quiet your heart to listen. God has the answers you seek. He has the wisdom you need. He has the direction you lack.

Christian Communications 2016

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Listening

September 24th, 2013

“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9 NIV.

The noise of surroundings and busyness of schedules impair listening.

My thoughts and comments today are about “listening.”

You live in an increasingly noisy, busy world filled with a myriad of voices that will not be ignored. You can’t help but hear them. They make themselves heard, no matter how much you wish to avoid them.  Eventually, the noise of surroundings and busyness of schedules impair your carefulness to listen closely and hear accurately. That is unfortunate, especially to your spiritual life.

Hearing and listening are similar, not identical. Hearing is a natural, physical capacity, whereas listening is a skill acquired and practiced intentionally. Learning to recognize and respond to God’s voice is vital to spiritual life and growth. Jesus said, “The words that I speak are spirit and life . . man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” John 6:63/Matthew 4:4. Peter seemed to understand this when he answered Jesus, “To whom shall we go, for You alone have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.

Give importance to hearing from God. God’s voice is seldom heard when you are too busy to listen or preoccupied with lesser things.

Be purposeful about listening to God. God may speak to you through Scripture, or words of a friend, or a circumstance of life, or through a song or sermon, but always as a gentle voice in your heart.

Take time to listen for God. You give time and attention to what you consider personally beneficial. Nothing else that engages your time is as beneficial as listening for God. Read Psalm 1:2-3 NIV.

Quiet your heart to listen to God. Living in a noisy, busy world is spiritually challenging. Every other voice and human activity can diminish the clarity of His voice in your heart. Lower the volume of turmoil around you; slow the hectic pace of unrelenting busyness. God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Read Psalm 46:1-3/9-11 NKJV. With a quiet heart before God, listen closely; you will hear God’s voice whatever the surrounding circumstance or chaos.

Listen with intention to obey. In the New Testament, Paul related the words, “obedience and disobedience,” to the words, “to hear under/hupokoe,“ or “to hear alongside/parakoe.” See Romans 8:19 NKJV. Submitting what you think or feel under what God says empowers obedience. Equating what you think or feel alongside what God says enables disobedience. How you hear has everything to do with your response to God. Listen to God carefully, as though everything depends on that; it does!

The young child, Samuel, illustrates the posture and practice of listening to God. “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening . . and the Lord said to Samuel . . as Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and everything Samuel said was wise and helpful.” Read 1 Samuel 3:1-11 NIV/19 NLT. When God’s words matter to you, God values and inspires your words on His behalf. Samuel identified himself to God as, “Your servant,” implying his attention with intention to obey. Obedience is the prerequisite for hearing God accurately. God does not volunteer to disclose His will, if obedience is not your intention.

My prayer for you today is that you have a heart to listen and ability to hear.

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Hearing God

March 1st, 2010

One day as they were worshipping God . . the Holy Spirit spoke.” Acts 13:2 The Message

A worshipping heart is the most important key to hearing God.”

My thoughts today are about “hearing God.”

Does God speak to people? Does God speak to people today? Does God speak to ordinary people about every day things? Yes, He does. He speaks through His Word, the Bible. He also speaks inwardly to your spirit in gentle promptings that your heart often recognizes as something beyond your own thoughts or ideas.

But not every one hears God, because not everyone is interested or listening. And not everyone who hears God hears Him correctly. In Scripture, God spoke and those standing by thought that it “thundered.” And not everyone who hears God correctly obeys Him fully.

Some don’t feel any need to hear what God has to say. Others don’t take the time necessary to hear what God is saying. A few don’t hear God any more because they wouldn’t obey the last time God spoke to them. But those who love and follow God’s voice will walk in unusual wisdom and blessing.

The Bible tells you how people hear God’s voice and respond in faith and obedience. Consider Mary, the young Jewish teenager who became God’s way to enter our world. When she heard, she responded, “Let it be unto me according to your word.” Luke 1:38. A heart of submission and trust is a key to hearing God. Understand this, God speaks to include you in what He is doing in your world, not for your amusement or information.

When God spoke to Samuel, a young boy serving in the Temple, he responded, “Speak Lord, your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:11. Samuel’s words express his readiness to obey. I find it interesting that the Greek word “obey” is “hupokoe” and comes from the root word “to hear.” That’s why parents often ask a child being slow to obey, “Did you hear me?” The assumption is that if you hear, you will obey. You won’t continue to hear God if you have a history of ignoring Him when He speaks. Willingness to obey promptly is central to your hearing God.

Today’s verse tells you where and when you will best hear God speak. “One day as they were worshipping God, the Holy Spirit spoke.” Acts 13: 2. A worshipping heart is the most important key to hearing God, and knowing His plans, and what you are to do to be a part of that. People who take time to be with God, and express their love and joy in their personal relationship with Him will more frequently understand when and what He speaks.

My prayer for you today is that you take time to listen with a heart to readily obey.

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