September 23: Listening with the Israelites

We’re on day 5 of learning to listen to the Lord.

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Exodus 15:26

Often we assume something mysterious or highly spiritual about hearing God’s voice and taking time to listen. But God speaks to us thru His Word. We can open it each day. But sometimes we don’t diligently hearken – we kinda gloss over it.

To diligently hearken means to examine our lives against God’s will for our lives. During the listening part of prayer, examine Scripture that you’ve read and see – has God prompted you in ways that you could respond?

Let’s give ear to His commandments!

[12] Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:12

September 22: Listening with Adam

We’ve seen some of the ways to listen to God already, but today we’ll highlight a way not to listen to God.

[10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:10

Adam responded to God’s voice with fear – but the wrong kind of fear.

Adam was afraid, while we’re told to have the ‘fear of the Lord’

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether

Psalm 19:9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 19:10

Adam was afraid, in Hebrew: waira. This is where we’re told fear not. Don’t be frightened, scared, paralyzed, forced to hide.

Fear of the Lord, fear, in Hebrew: yirat. This is the idea of reverence.

A way to visualize reverence is to ‘bow the knee.’ Here’s a song from our friend Ron Hamilton (Patch the Pirate) on how to reverence our God!

Bow the Knee, by Ron Hamilton

September 21: Listening with Sarah

We’re on day 3 of Listening to God in prayer. One of the problems we have is that after we’ve identified God’s voice, we respond too quickly.

[9] And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
[10] And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
[11] Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
[12] Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
[13] And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
[14] Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
[15] Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Genesis 18

What is God saying to you that you’re quick to dismiss or laugh off? Is He asking you to pray for a loved one’s salvation? To share the gospel with a friend? Is He calling you into the ministry?

We may still be trying to figure out if it’s God that is speaking to us – but let’s be careful not to dismiss what He’s saying simply because it doesn’t fit our preconceived limitations for our life. Remember:

  • Noah was a drunk
  • Abraham was too old
  • Isaac was a daydreamer
  • Jacob was a liar
  • Leah was ugly
  • Joseph was abused
  • Moses had a stuttering problem
  • Gideon was afraid
  • Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
  • Rahab was a prostitute
  • Jeremiah was too young
  • David was an adulterer (not to mention a murderer)
  • Elijah was suicidal
  • Isaiah preached naked
  • Jonah ran from God
  • Naomi was a widow
  • Job went bankrupt
  • John the Baptist ate bugs
  • Andrew lived in the shadow of his big brother
  • Peter denied Christ
  • All the disciples fell asleep while praying (and ran away when Jesus really needed them.)
  • Martha worried about everything
  • The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
  • Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed
  • Zaccheus was too small
  • Timothy had an ulcer
  • Paul was a Christian-killer
  • Oh…and Lazarus was dead