A few days ago, Mike sent the following story with the preface, “This one could be dangerous to use, but couldn’t resist sharing with you.”
I was intrigued. Once I read the story, I knew Mike was right. Here we go……
“Jimmy was sent to prison for his crimes but he told the warden he wasn’t worried at all about serving his full sentence.
The warden asked him why, since most prisoners immediately started planning how they can get out early.
Jimmy replied, “Well, my wife has never let me finish a sentence the whole time I’ve been married!”
This got me thinking.
In my relationship with Shannon, she’s the talker, I’m the listener. That’s okay because most of what she says is more intelligent than anything I could ever come up with. The problem is the moments I don’t really listen. That’s when I unwittingly agree to get another dog or horse.
Sadly, I do the same thing with God. Many times, when God is speaking, I’m not really listening. That’s the moment I get into trouble. But if God truly is first in my life, I would always be listening and responding. This is nothing new.
The Pharisees truly believed God was first in their lives, but then Jesus spoke the words they desperately needed to hear to get on the right track. “Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.” (John 8:47)
If you, like me, find yourself not listening as often as you should, there is a way to change.
First, ask God to help you see and hear the Holy Spirit’s will for your life.
Second, before you begin any prayers, center yourself. That’s a term used in prayer language that means to completely clear your mind, push aside all the mental clutter and begin your prayer in a peaceful, meditative posture. While it takes time to master, you will find the effort is worth it.
Third, be mindful that God speaks to us through people, circumstance, scripture, music, prayer, that small inner voice, nature, worship, art, the list goes on and on…..
Fourth, in the evening, before you rest your head on a pillow and close your eyes, take a few moments to examine your experiences of the day.
Fifth, be open and ready to hear God speak in the unexpected. That’s how it was for Moses, Noah, Mary, Paul, Job, Nebuchadnezzar, Jonah, and many others. Expect the unexpected.
Listening for God takes an intentional effort. The more you practice, the easier it will get. And the more you hear God speak, the more your life will be blessed by guidance and comfort from above. It’s worth it.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I am easily distracted by the events and noise of life. Help me hear you. Please speak and give me the resolve, strength, and wisdom to follow your guidance. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
God is speaking. Open your mind, imagination, and heart. You will hear.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.