2005-09-24 - Passages About Listening to God
Originally Published 2000-10-01
Often we are so busy (and I am speaking for myself here) pouring out our requests and desires, and even thanking God - that we don't take the time to simply listen. But prayer should be a two-way conversation, not a monologue.
1 Sam. 3:10 (NASB) Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!'' And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening.''
We need to be attentively listening for God's voice:
Habakkuk 2:1 (NASB) I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.
Jesus was our model for seeking solitude, which makes listening easier:
Mark 1:35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
A quiet environment can also be conducive to discerning God's voice:
Psa. 46:10 (NIV) Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Sometimes God speaks to us in ways we don't expect, so we need to listen with an open mind to "new ways." The words "never done it that way before" may be heard among us Christians, but they are not in God's vocabulary:
1 Kings 19:11-13 So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.'' And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?''
And when we do hear God's voice, we must be ready to obey. Hearing and obedience are intertwined. In fact, our English word "obey" can be translated "to hear." Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an exemplary model for us:
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.'' And the angel departed from her.