Are You Listening? (from 31 Days of Encouragement – Laura)

“HEAR, O HEAVENS! LISTEN, O EARTH! FOR THE LORD HAS SPOKEN.” Isaiah 1:2

The Lord is always speaking! Are we listening? Reading the Old Testament prophets reveals the often repeated phrase, “Listen to what the LORD says.” Sometimes they write, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says.” Isaiah writes, “The LORD has spoken this word” (24:3). God used these special servants to speak His message to His people. Today, we are most blessed to have the written Word of God.

Jesus says many times in the gospels, “Truly I say to you,” or, “These things I have spoken to you.” The book of Revelation is filled with Jesus’ warnings, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” As He compares His children to sheep in John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.”

I often hear people pray and have even prayed this way myself: “Lord, speak to me.” God seems to say to me, “Laura, are you listening? I have never stopped speaking.” The Psalmist urges us to listen. “O that you would listen to His voice today” (Psalm 95:7b). What a wonderful truth to rest in! God speaks to my heart.

Evidently my heart has the capacity to hear and receive because God’s Word admonishes me to write things on the “tablet” of my heart. “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.” This line from the hymn Come, Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing has always been a heartfelt expression of worship for me – a prayer.

There are many voices vying for our attention; each one claims to be the ultimate answer to all of our questions. God is creative in the ways He speaks to us. He calls, declares, sings, whistles and thunders. “The voice of the LORD is powerful. The voice of the LORD is majestic” (Psalm 29:4). Why do we not hear His voice? We are not listening. Maintaining our “busyness,” we rush along to the next “thing” with deaf ears to the only voice that can direct us. Only as we pull away for quiet will we be able to hear.

How do we recognize God’s voice? These characteristics may help you discern as you listen.

  • God always leads you – He will never push or drive you. He is the Good Shepherd!
  • His voice always confirms scripture; it will never contradict scripture. He is the Living Word!
  • His conviction will be specific to your sin, never condemning to your self. He is the Spirit of Truth!
  • His voice compels us to walk in faith, not wallow in fear. He is the Faithful Creator!

Have you been listening to Your Father? When my girls were small, I would take their little faces in my hands and look them straight in the eyes and say, “Listen to me.” I can also remember a time when they would do the same to me so I would listen to them. Is Jesus longing for a “face to face” with you? Listen to Him.

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