Listening to God requires that we first listen for God, Robert Benson once said. We have to be in a position to want to hear from God, by being still and knowing God is God.
“Has God trusted you with silence-a silence that is big with meaning? God’s silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home of Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking for a visible answer? God will give you the blessings you ask if you will not go any further without them; but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself.” Oswald Chambers Are you satisfied with the silence? Make no mistake that silence is also God speaking.
We are to listen for Him, and not be concerned about the manner or method He chooses to speak to us. Remember that burning bush. God spoke to Moses on the backside of a mountain in a bush. Scripture is filled with different ways God spoke to His people. Our responsibility is to be attentive when He speaks, and obey. His voice is unmistakable. It is like the dawning of the sun. It fills the soul and spirit with hope, joy, love and warms your heart. He is probably speaking to you right now. Telling you don’t worry about this day; He has everything under control.
St.Teresa of Avila said, “We should accept with simplicity whatever understanding the Lord gives us; and what He doesn’t we shouldn’t tire ourselves over. For one word of God’s will contain within itself a thousand mysteries.” The value of listening to God is that we will finally hear him as He is – God. All those questions are answered, we cease from struggling over the mundane and trivial. We seek Him knowing all is well with our souls. Peace, Power, Presence. Are you listening to God?
Listening to God provides our way home.
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 NIV
Power on, power off. Storms have wrecked havoc across our state. People are coping, but it has been a challenge. Anytime the power is off communications, recreational activities, emergency services, and basic living conditions can be negatively impacted. However, when it is running smoothly life move forward. The same is true for us. When we’re connected to the right power source, our lives flow at the right tempo.
God urges us to call him, and He will provide answers to those “great and unsearchable things.” Answers to the “Why is this happening?” Answers to What do I do now? Questions about Who am I and Why am I here, and Can I really be forgiven are always available through our power source-God the Father. There are lots of other power sources out there, but they have faulty wiring and cannot be trusted. Those other power sources will shut off, or go down at a moment notice.
Isn’t it reassuring to know the Great Power of the universe will never be off?
To receive answers to questions, and directions for our lives, we must be connected to Him.
The Power is On.
There are different seasons in the Midwest: fall, winter, spring and construction. Around Easter, provided the weather is just right, little orange cones start popping up along with lilies and crocuses. Highway construction crews begin their annual process to repair our roadways, highways, and byways. I got to thinking about our roadwork that occur within the different seasons in our lives. In Matthew 7:13-20, Jesus tells the disciples there is a narrow gate to life, and few will find it. There is also a broad way that many will travel on. This one leads to destruction. Isn’t it interesting how when we see the roadways ahead, instead of staying on through the narrow path, and we begin our own construction projects? We try to broaden these roadways, creating our own little superhighway. There are those who tunnel under it [the narrow way], going underground hiding those sins which so easily beset us. We create elaborate suspension bridges in attempts to go over it, trying to hold up the broken pieces of our life. And if all else fails, we ignore the stop, caution, danger, and warning signs, hoping the challenges and/or difficulties will just go away, as we continue to ease on down the broad way.
However, our roadwork is flawed, and never sustains us. It cracks and crumbles from the imperfections, from the sin. And all our patchwork is flimsy bandage which won’t hold. It is like the man who built his home on sand which fell. Unless, we choose to travel that narrow way, and seek the One who created the gate in the first place, the consequences will be and are, broken, shattered, lost lives.
This season as you travel and see those little orange cones and merging signs, take a moment to remember that God does the best roadwork. The job He does is flawless and will last throughout eternity.
I Surrender All by Clay Crosse
Theologian Howard Thurman wrote, “ I surrender to God the nerve center of my consent. This is the very core of my will, the mainspring of my desiring, the essence of my conscious thought.”
To surrender to God, the work you do, the things you own, the relationships, the hopes, the dreams, and the fears is to give up everything. And everything includes the hurts, the pains, the disappointments, the injustices into the hands of a loving God who knows what it is like, and what we are like and still says cast your burdens unto me. God has our life. He has it. The things we carry around is no match for God. Surrender, today all of it to Him.
Read any good books lately? Ones that stimulate, encourage, inspire, and uplifts you. I just finished a wonderful book by author Marilyn Brown Oden,”Abundance. Joyful Living in Christ.” It captures the inner work necessary to locate the source of abundant living. Ms. Oden skillfully leads the reader on the journey of discovering God through insightful stories and tidbits. One of the tidbits which jumped at me in the first chapter was an amazing quote from a Fifth century Spiritual leader, Abba Poeman. He said “Do not give your heart to that which does not satisfy your heart.” That quote alone was worth the cost of the book.
The quote is a true statement. We do give our hearts to all sorts of things that do not create light, and love, nor help us fulfill our destiny. The Bible calls them idols, and there are lots of them. These things never satisfy us.
God is the only source, the person who can satisfy our hearts. We are told to love Him with everything we have, to place Him first, to have no other gods before Him. And for those who do, something remarkable happens. We become sensitive and open to His call. And with that our hearts, our very souls experience true fulfillment.
In the gospel of John 12:50, Jesus said…”And I know that His command is everlasting life…” Everlasting life is a command, not only a prized gift or by-product of salvation. Our spirits are directed, told, instructed to have everlasting life. Wow!!!
But we said no and disobeyed a direct order from God for a shiny new thing. We refused, rejected, rebelled against our commander-in-chief or creator, because we felt we knew better. Think about how different your life would be, if you truly believe in God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. What if the entire world began to believer? What would the world look like? There would be less mayhem, less hardened hearts, less blinded eyes, less monsters under the bed. Just imagine a world filled with the pure light of truth, love, beauty, joy, peace and the glory of God. Where would you be now, and what would you be doing?
What changes would you make to have everlasting life? How would you change?
Anne Graham Lotz once wrote, “As we live moment by moment under the control of the Spirit, His character, which is the character of Jesus, becomes evident to those around us.” It’s really up to you. Your choice to make. Do you want to experience more mayhem, darkness or do you want everlasting life?
The answer is evident.
A little 11 year old boy with a bright, shining smile and engaging spirit in one act of love and devotion tried to get help for his mother. He jumped out of the car unto moving traffic on a busy interstate highway. He tried to flagged down a motorist and was struck and killed. His mother was being beaten and dragged by her boyfriend who was attempting to kill her. Her son’s last thoughts were only of her-the object of his love. He wanted only to save her.
Jesus’ last thoughts on Calvary were of us-the objects of His love. He came to knowing full well he would be struck down at the intersection of hate and rejection. However, it didn’t matter. He was willing to go head long into oncoming traffic and take the full impact of an unknowing, blinded, and distracted world for love.
The scripture said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-14 KJV
Divine love came to us to show us how to live and operate in the kingdom of God. He modeled love, healing, compassion, truth, justice, grace and mercy. He demonstrated how to use power and authority, and how to forgive. The Divine Expression-the Word became flesh and showed us no greater love.