Why didn't I listen? Ever ask yourself that question? We usually ask that question when someone gave us some sound advice, we rejected it, and find ourselves suffering the consequences. But we rarely, if ever, ask that question when it comes to prayer. In fact, I don't think I have ever asked that question in regards to prayer.
This morning, after spending a few minutes interceding for others in prayer, I listened. As I listened, the thought came to mind, "I wonder if people are wondering how to listen to God?" I am.
Well, this morning I intentionally drove to a quiet place, away from the noise. What I saw were trees of different shapes, sizes, and textures. Yet they were all existing in the same space and created a beautiful scene. If trees can create a beautiful mosaic, maybe people who look and think differently can exist in the same space too. Then I noticed a little bunny the size of my hand come out of the bushes. The little guy started to eat with his ears perked up. I noticed those ears. Even the bunny is listening with his cute little ears. The bunny is listening to what is happening around him, why wouldn't I? God provides grass for a bunny, why wouldn't He provide for His people? Then the bunny disappeared and a bird appeared, pecking at the ground. He was fast twitch, not as cute, but still full of life. God's eye is on that tiny bird and His love for His people is even greater.
I knew I wanted to write about listening this morning, but I wasn't sure what to say. Then I realized as I was listening to God by watching nature He was giving me the content. Then other thoughts started coming to mind. God made us with a mind and thoughts come into our minds. I think our minds are like a batter at the plate. Some thoughts are balls, some strikes. I see the strikes as from God and the balls from the enemy. Let the balls go by and put your bat on the strikes. As I was listening to the worship music from Highlands and listening for God to speak, He sent some strikes. God speaks to us through His Word. We can actually listen to the words of Jesus audibly now because of technology. It may not be His actual voice, but they are His words. We don't have to wonder what God would say in many situations because His Word tells us what He did say. God speaks through our emotions or feelings. Sometimes we get an inner "nudge" about something. You know, that "gut" feeling. And as I was experiencing, God speaks through observing nature. After all, God created everything so creation continually speaks.
For me, this week of prayer and fasting is going to be more about listening than anything. I hope some of what I heard this morning may help you spend more time listening to God.
We will close as we began. Why didn't I listen? Ever ask yourself that question? Well, at least today I can say I did listen. I hope I can say the same tomorrow.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:7-11 (NIV)
"Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle."
"Father, I come into your presence because I want to listen. I desire to hear from You. I don't need answers or guidance, I am wiping the slate clean and just want to hear what you want to say to me. I have no agenda or expectation. If you choose to remain silent that is fine with me. But I want to give you my attention just in case you may have something to say to me. So now I humbly ask you to speak, for your servant is listening ... In Jesus' Name, Amen."