1996-11-22 - Listening
Listening to the people around me everyday, from my coworkers to my family, is hard enough. There are days when this world, under the control of the enemy, is flying at such a roaring pace that I think it is done just to keep me from hearing. As important as it is to listen to my friends, my children and my wife, I must listen to God. Sometimes He speaks very plainly, but most times He speaks in a "still, small voice". I need to give my full attention to hear well. How many times have I missed something that God had in store for me because my life is in chaos? I may never fully know.
It took God pinning Saul of Tarsus to the ground in a beam of powerful light to get his attention. It cost Samson both eyes, his freedom and his life to get him to stop and listen. It took a huge storm, the ships cargo and a ride in the belly of a whale to get Jonah to hear God and obey. At the rebuke of Jesus Christ, the moneychangers fled restoring silence to the outer court of the Temple. But neither they, nor the Pharisees heard or had ears to hear that day.
God spoke through Moses, warning the children of Israel that they would be taken captive and all manner of evil would befall them. He knew then that they would finally cry out to Him for help when they were at an end of their own resources and ability.
Deuteronomy 4:30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.  For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget His covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.
God is far from finished with Israel. He has returned them to the land as a nation. Remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That peace will come when the Messiah returns to set up His earthy Kingdom very soon. These words were directed to Israel and yet, how much do they sound like you and me? We wait and try to do things in our own strength. And just as the song says...
… when we've reached the end of our hoarded resources, our Father's good giving has only begun.
God reached down into the muck and the mire of this world and pulled us out and put our feet on the Rock that is Jesus. We could do nothing to help ourselves. It was all His giving. We could not have even asked for help, if we had known we needed help without Him showing us.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without cost.  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.  Incline your ear to Me. Listen that you may live; and I will make and everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.
Why do we try to earn or buy what we could never be able to afford on our own, when Jesus has already paid the price for the only thing that will satisfy the human soul? Milk, bread and wine that feed the spirit are given freely to them that will listen to the voice of God. The voice of the one who cared enough to come and destroy the sin that held us captive. If we listen, we hear Him calling our names to come home, that we may live. If we will only listen.
Lord Jesus, teach us to listen for the good things that You have in store for us. Your words are food and life to the spirits of Your children. Help us to make the time to sit before You and Your word, and listen. Amen.
Grace & Peace,