Preparing Lives Committed to Christ For Today, Tomorrow and Eternity

Friday to Listen

Good Friday Morning,
The very first bible verse my son memorized was John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  This is a good verse to start and continue your walk with the Lord daily.
There are many voices vying for our attention these days.  We don’t realize it but our hearts are being impacted by this information overload and frantic busyness.  Whether it’s interesting stories friends post on Facebook, tweets that catch your attention, blog posts with a catchy title, YouTube videos that call out as a “must watch”, or my Friday devotionals (lol), we are receiving information at an alarming rate.  “In 2011, Americans took in five times as much information every day as they did in 1986 — the equivalent of 175 newspapers.” https://delanceyplace.com/view-archives.php?p=2740
All this information is not making us smarter, and certainly not wiser – I believe it actually hinders our intellectual and social development.  Everyone thinks they are right all the time, and they argue and fight with others who disagree with them – on social media in front of everyone.  Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
What do we think all this information and busyness is doing to our minds?  I wrote last week about our sleep being disrupted these days – some of the things we do during waking hours in turn negatively impacts our sleep.  My pastor mentioned that he thinks our phones play a big role in trouble sleeping, and I  absolutely agree.  Whether it’s a computer screen, phone screen or BOTH for the majority of the day (not to mention iPads and Kindles!), this can’t be a good thing.  People 50 years ago did not have artificial light going into their eyes all hours of the day.
Our minds never rest, and the voice of God is drowned out by all this noise and “worldly light”.  When was the last time you had some time alone with God just to sit and listen, maybe even with your eyes closed to give your eyes a rest from the glow of technology.  It’s hard for us to do.  We’re accustomed to always “doing” something.  While I know praying and studying God’s Word are both essential to our faith life, so is listening.  What do you do when you “really” listen to people?  You stop everything you’re doing, you look them in the eyes (hopefully) and you really listen.  You don’t think about what you are going to say next.  You don’t try and fix their problem (unless they ask for your advice), and if they ask for your help, you don’t question what they are asking you to do, you simply respond by helping.
Now I’m not saying God needs any of our help because He’s God and He has all power at His fingertips, but the bible does say, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  Some might say, well I’ve asked God to show me His will, but I don’t hear anything.  Is it because we’re asking God to really come in line with the will we have already laid out for our lives?  Or are we reading His Word to know His will and then praying and really listening.
His will is not always going to be what you want and it’s in no way always going to be easy.  Think about what Jesus went through to fulfill the will of our Father in Heaven so that we could be saved and redeemed.  In prayer Jesus cried out in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  Are you ready to lay down your life (and all the stuff of this world) to do the will of God?  To be honest, I doubt if I’m quite there yet.  Yes, there are some things I have laid down already in recent years, but there are more difficult things I feel God speaking to me, and I’m not wanting to let go of the comfortable and familiar.  I am hearing God, but I am not really listening.  What are those things God is calling you to let go of so that you can follow Him with your whole heart?
“God Help Me” by Plumb speaks of listening and doing whatever God would ask us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYFqj7i1KdY
And Mandisa’s Voice of a Savior shows us how we listen to all kinds of others voices when the only voice we need is Jesus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2IB1InD0rY
Father God, thank you that even though you are Sovereign over this whole world, you chose to reach down to us and send your son Jesus so we can have a relationship with you.  As your word says, you know our names and you formed us in our mother’s womb.  You are our Father in Heaven, but just as kids sometimes don’t listen (or never) to their earthly fathers because of stubbornness and rebellion, we often don’t listen and follow you into the “difficult” or “scary” so that your Kingdom will come. Deliver us from evil Lord that keeps us stuck in this world. Lift our eyes to Heaven and give us courage to do Your will.  We ask all this in the name above all names, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Carve out some time to listen to the most important voice in your life and see where He might lead you,
Marisa
P.S.
I want to give a virtual high-five to just a few people in my life where it’s evident they are listening to the voice of God, even when it might be scary and/or difficult. Their obedience encourages me and others to do the same – to God be the glory!
One friend removed herself from facebook recently
One friend has applied for her first mission trip to Colombia
My sister went into public office a couple years ago
One friend sent me a video about Rak Chazak (Google it) last night, the ancient war/battle cry, and a group of us ladies are going into the battlefield tonight because of her leadership!
One family fostered and later adopted three children
One friend (single mom) adopted two special needs children from China
A family with three girls moved to Wales for full-time mission work to share the good news of Jesus – and I mean that whole family including the youngest who is about 7-9 years old are all missionaries in that foreign country!