Are you a good listener?
11/18/2017 11:23:50 AM
If God called you on the telephone, would you know it was him?
Are you a good listener? Acts 16
"Honey, you're not listening to me!" your wife has oft said.
"Mom ... mom, did you hear me? Are you even listening?" your teenager says to you, or maybe you say to him!
We all want to be listened to...we all want to be heard. Even God. Sure, maybe you have practiced your active listening skills in therapy or even good business practice seminars, but are you a good listener to God? Like, do you give him room to speak? do you listen for his voice? would you know his voice if you heard it?
Hearing God's voice is not a science; after all, the direction comes from the Holy Spirit. However, there are several things that might enable us to better hear God's voice. The truth is--God does speak, and he has the creativity to use any number of 'mouthpieces' to get our attention.
We see this when Paul is on his second trip to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in unreached places; note the different ways God guided Paul about where he should go. Luke writes, "They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia; they had been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Passing by Mysia they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision in which a Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, "Cross over to Macedonia and help us!" After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.1
Sometimes God communicates surprising things-like why would God stop them from speaking the word in Asia or Bithynia? God's ways are not our ways, and sometimes his ways are just plain mysterious.
I have found a few 'hot tips' to hear from God. First, know this-->God is a gentleman. >He will not shout over your noise and busy-ness; therefore, it is wise to offer him some quiet, to give him a chance to get a word in!
Consider this experience of Elijah's: "a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. . ."2 God speaks in the still, small voice.
>God speaks through his Word--and he refreshes it in our lives over and over. God's heartfelt words to you are in the Bible!
>God speaks through 'open' and 'closed' doors, and through other circumstances
>God speaks through Christian 'brothers', sometimes the teaching on Sunday
>God speaks through impressions [in our spirit] of the Holy Spirit
I really think that most of us forget that prayer is a two-sided conversation. Let's invite God to speak into our quiet. Go ahead, look to God to lead you. . . and then watch, and LISTEN!
1 - Acts 16.4-10, CSB
2 - 1 Kings 19