Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Listening - September 11th, 2008

Ps.81:8 - “Hear, O my people, and I will warn you - if you would but listen to me, O Israel!” If we would but listen to Him! That is the issue - not so much hearing but listening. Yesterday one of the guys put it bluntly saying, “It’s not that I don’t know what God wants me to do, just that it’s so hard to do it.” If we would but listen. God speaks to His people - here are just a few examples. God spoke to Adam (Gen.2:16), God spoke to Noah (Gen.6:13), God spoke to Abraham (Gen.12:1, 17:3, 18:16-33), God spoke to Isaac (Gen.26:2-6), God spoke to Jacob (Gen.28:13-15), God spoke to Joseph (Gen.41:39), God spoke to Moses, like a man speaks to his friend (Ex.33:11), God spoke to Joshua (Josh.1:1-9), God spoke to Samuel, even when he was just a young boy (1 Sam.3:1-14), God spoke to King Saul (1 Sam.9:27-10:8), God spoke to King David, with His own mouth (1 Kings 8:15), God spoke to Solomon (1 Kings 3:15) and to other kings of Israel and Judah, God spoke to Elijah (1 Kings 17:2), God spoke to Job (38-41), challenging him to brace himself like a man for the conversation (Job 38:3), God spoke to Isaiah (Is.6:8-10), God spoke to Jeremiah (Jer.1:4-5), God spoke to Ezekiel (Ez.2:1-2), God spoke to Daniel (Dan.10:18-19) and to the other prophets, God spoke to Paul (Acts 9:4-6), God spoke to Peter (Acts 10:12-15), God spoke to John (Rev.1:1-2) and to the other disciples, apostles and followers of Christ. Jesus made it so clear in Jn.10 saying, in verses 3-5, 14 and 27, “…the sheep listen to His voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them…and His sheep follow Him because they know his voice, but they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Why are we so apt to follow strangers neglecting to listen to His voice? His voice isn’t what we think or expect very often (1 Kings 19:11-12) even when that is what we expect; many Christians have even taken that verse out of context to fabricate a theology that misses the boat about hearing God’s voice. God speaks to me through His Word (Heb.4:12) and through the continued illumination, enlightenment and personalization of all that is in it, through the individual instruction of His very Spirit (Jn.14:26), all in the context of relationship as I wait patiently on Him (Ps.130:5). Every time I open God’s Word I will hear directly from Him in a personal way. His Holy Spirit continues speaking to me from there. It is that intimate communion and conversation with God about which Paul writes that nothing in all of life compares (Phil.3:7-9). God give me a heart to hear your voice, to listen carefully to you and to follow you without reservation.

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