LISTEN–AND HEAR THE LORD.

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” 1

 Do we have daily conversations with God where we make sure we are heard—but forget to listen? Are we really even conversing at all in this situation–or are we just presenting a one-sided monologue to the Lord, consisting of our personal list of requests, wants, and needs?

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” 2

To engage in true conversation with our God, we must also be silent and listen to what He has to say to us. There is much that can be heard in silence. Noise drowns out the Word, which the Lord wants to impart to us. Our own words can interfere with and block out His part of the conversation. Maybe WE TALK TOO MUCH–without letting Him speak.

Listening involves a focused mindset. In our society today, such a mindset is difficult to develop and sustain: short quotes on Facebook, short blurbs in ads, condensed recaps of news, texts and tweets, instant messaging. We move from one item to another quickly on Google. In fact, in a recent Microsoft study reported in Time, the results indicate that our focus of attention has declined to a mere eight seconds. The title of this May14, 2015 article by Kevin McSpadler is “You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.” 3

So how can we listen and be silent before God to hear all He has to say when our attention span is so lacking? It is possible! Each one of us can remain absorbed, engrossed, riveted and totally engaged for a longer duration of time in something we love to do—fishing, reading, cooking, sewing, a sport, exercise, camping, etc. We can develop and maintain this intentional focus when the “want to” is there.

“Hearing” God and “listening” to His Word are referenced many times in scripture:

Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2  “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

If we are to truly live “by every Word” coming from God, then we must love this conversation with God more than our desire for anything else—and we must learn to listen and be silent.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 

 

1William Hazlitt

2 Alfred Brendel

3 time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/10/18)  Meditations on God’s Word  teacherforjesus.com

Following the Voice of the Lord

God speaks His Voice

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

 I heard the Voice. I questioned Who was speaking.

I heard the Voice. I was too busy to listen.

I heard the Voice. I didn’t want to get involved.

I heard the Voice. I couldn’t possibly be the instrument.

I heard the Voice. I began to feel the urgency.

I heard the Voice. I spoke out loud, “All right, Lord!”

So I called my best friend and asked for her daughter’s number. I said I had to call her daughter, that it was urgent. I had never called her daughter before on the phone. This seemed confusing to my friend, but she gave me the number after I told her that her daughter absolutely had to go to Bible study this Sunday.

I heard the young woman’s voice when I called, a question in the tone after I identified myself. Her thoughts spoke in the pause, “Why would she be calling me?”

I told her that I heard His Voice, over and over again the entire day, telling me to call her, urging me to tell her to attend the young adult Bible class Sunday morning. I could hear the question again in her response, but after continued efforts to convince her to attend the Bible class, she said she would consider it. The voice wasn’t what I had wanted to hear, but I hung up the phone and prayed that she would go.

Have you ever heard His Voice, compelling you to go, to do, to speak, to become involved? How did you answer Him?

I have heard His Voice. He was there, whispering to me, calling to me repeatedly all day long. I could not shut Him out. I could not ignore Him. I had to make the call.

This story is real. And the ending was fairy tale in human lore. The Bible teacher–a young man, not yet engaged– spoke on marriage that Sunday morning. Happily ever after, there was an engagement and, then, a marriage and, later, a family. To this day, this young couple is very involved in youth ministry, in teaching, and in leading young people to hear and respond to His Voice.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

Let us listen and hear His Voice leading us, guiding us, directing us to do His Will.

 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations;

I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 01/15/17) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Knowing God in Silence

Be still and know I am Lord 

“Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:1)

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Clashes, bangs, bleeps, ringtones, sirens, horns, chatter, revved motors, doorbells, motorcycles, store speakers, televisions, radios, videos, kids playing, adults playing, clocks- sounding- the- hour, outdoor chimes, you tube, mowers running, workmen pounding, noise echoing, noise resounding, noise reverberating, noise ascending, more and more NOISE! We live in a world of sound.  It goes before us, encircles around us, and follows behind us. Where can we find the silence we need to more personally know God?

Although we can hear and know God through nature and in the sounds of this life—a thunderclap, geese heading south in formation, a baby’s first words —and appreciate with awe the beauty of His creation, there also needs to be a location where we have God-time in silence.

Enter a Quiet Zone: That place where we can be still and know God without the interference of distracting noise. But where is such a place?

**But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (King James, Matt. 6:6)

**But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (International Standard Version, Matthew 6:-6)

**Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (The Message, Matthew 6:6)

Whether we go into our closet, our room, or another location, it should be a “quiet, secluded place.” When alone with God in this spot, we can just remain in silent awe and respectful thanks of His mercy and grace. We can silently converse with Him in our thoughts, pray to Him in our hearts, and love Him with all our being. There will be no phone signaling us away from this communion with God. The background noise will be muted sound, so we only hear His voice within.

 But the LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

When can this happen with all the sound around us? It may be early morning or late at night when others in the house are asleep. It may be a time when the children are at school. It may happen on a walk through the woods or on a fishing boat where no one else is around. Wherever your “closet” is, God will be there too, a silent voice inside each one of us:  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:1)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/31/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word