Posts Tagged listen

Listen

Numbers 2: 1 – 2

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.

One of the grandest precepts for us to accept and subsequently incorporate is that we can hear the voice of God speaking to each of us. Especially on this side of the Protestant Reformation, we should be people who are zealous to talk with God and hear His responses. Yet, we have fallen into a pattern of “praying” to him and then walking away. It is vital that we each hear the voice of God so that we may be led according to all His good intentions.

In the Old Testament, people heard God speak. Obviously, God was able to be heard by these two. Yahweh laid out a complete picture of where each tribe should pitch its tent in the camp and the order by which they should proceed when they traveled. If you were to read chapter 2 of Numbers, you would find that there is great detail in the instructions given by God.

Consider the building of the Tent of Meeting. It was completely designed by God and communicated to people. They heard the voice of the Lord right down to the color of the fabric and precise measurements. How is it that they could receive such detailed instructions from God, and we struggle to hear His voice at all?

I hope you will engage that question. Why are we not hearing God speak? Why don’t we all have a strong dialogue with God? It is not His intention that we live separated from Him. His desire is that we live in Him and with Him. He even said that he wants to make his abode with us (John 14: 23). That means He wants to live with us. Wouldn’t it be odd for someone to live with us but never speak with us, for us never to exchange thoughts and ideas? That seems very odd and yet that seems to be many people’s experience. So, either, we haven’t allowed God to make His abode with us, He isn’t speaking or we aren’t listening. What do you think?

Maybe you should ask Father about this. Maybe you should ask Him if your joint communication is where He wants it. Of course, then you will need to listen for an answer. Be still, turn off the TV and the telephone and listen to the voice within you. Take a few minutes to create quiet in your environment, both on the outside of you and the inside. Then listen. If you have trouble hearing, ask Him to help you but as you ask, believe that He will answer. Then be still and listen. And be persistent. If you are not hearing God or not hearing Him as well or as frequently as you would like, then persist. I promise that if you will allow Him, He will teach you.

Listen

Hebrews 12: 25 – 26             New Living Bible

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”

The God’s Word Translation reads, “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen when God speaks.” When God spoke to the Israelites, they did not listen. Are we listening? Do we want God to have to raise His voice because we refuse to listen to His calm, still voice within us? We know what happens if He raises His voice even a small amount. The earth cannot bear up against the power of His voice.

Sometimes we need to be shaken, I don’t deny that. However, we are also His voice in the earth as was Moses. God won’t have to shout if we continue to go into all the world and share this good news about Jesus. And do you know that sometimes the best oratory is a whisper. There is no good in us trying to shout down our neighbor. Love has a gentle voice and that is the voice people need to hear, that God loves them and is not condemning them. I don’t want Him to have to shout because we didn’t carry His message to the lost.

I am concerned that modern Christians do not bother to try to listen to God. Maybe He wants us to pray for Israel or Mexico. Maybe He just wants us to pick up the phone and call a friend. Regardless, God wants us to listen to Him and I worry that we are not doing a very good job of that. The devil has tricked us into living in a fast paced environment so that we feel we don’t have time to listen to God. We don’t often slow down long enough to ask Him His thoughts. Ministers are guilty of this too. We get so busy doing “God’s work” that we forget to spend time with God. It is ridiculous, I know, but if you think about it, how many of us really ponder the Word or seek God’s voice? It really is epidemic in the church. How, then, are we going to set the captives free? How shall we be like Moses when we don’t hear the voice of God. Is God going to have to shout at us like He did from Mount Sinai? They didn’t listen to Moses even though he carried the message from God and spoke for God so God had to open His mouth and they didn’t like it. We need to not make the same mistake. God still sends messengers every day with His words, His messages. Are we pausing to consider these words from God? If we don’t listen to Him, who will? It is in our job description.

We need to heed this caution, “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen when God speaks.” It is not too late to set a New Year’s resolution. Seek God’s face daily and train ourselves to listen to His voice. If you need help, I am always here to assist you. Be blessed!