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ARE YOU LISTENING?

ARE YOU LISTENING?

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
Whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
Psalm 32:8-9

What do you sense God might be saying to you?   I ask you because that is a question I frequently try to ask myself. And I ask because Scripture promises that God is speaking and revealing Himself to us in many ways.   Jesus says that His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27), and cautions them to listen closely:  “Let anyone with ears listen” (Matthew. 11:15; 13:9; Mark 4:9, 23; Revelation. 2:7, 11; 3:6, 13).   So, again I ask you, as I ask myself, “What do you sense God might be saying to you?”  

I have taken today’s scripture from Psalm 32 in which God promises to instruct and teach His people the way they should go.   This psalm begins with David telling of the miserable time in his life when he tried ignoring his sin and repressing his guilt.  David follows up this tragic episode by telling of how he confessed his sin and experienced the joy of God’s forgiveness.  If believers are not listening to God’s conviction of sin, then they are unprepared to hear God speak further. 

As David has confessed his sin and known God’s forgiveness, the Lord promises to lead him on the way he should go.  God promises to counsel with His watchful, fatherly eye on each one of His children.  Elsewhere David revels in this guidance God offers: “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.  He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way” (Psalm 25:8-9). 

Then the Lord warns in this psalm that we must not be like the horse or mule without understanding, that have to be reined in with bit and bridle.   God wants us to be different!  He desires that we be good listeners, and teachable.  It is not a matter of technique or method, but simply a heart longing to hear the Lord.    

In a 1936 address to people gathered in Birmingham, England, Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman, the founder of the Oxford Group, said:

“Now we find when we don’t know how, God will show us how if we are willing.  When man listens, God speaks.  When man obeys, God acts.  The secret is God-control.  We are not out to tell God.  We are out to let God tell us.  And He will tell us.” 

(Frank N. D. Buchman, Remaking the World)

In this perilous time for our nation, for the church, and for each of us personally, the Lord calls us to be responsible for a part of His kingdom on earth.  The Lord will tell us what to do if we will listen!  And He will tell us how to do it if we will listen!

I close with my adaptation of a prayer by A. W. Tozer, praying it for you and for me!

“Lord, teach us to listen.  The times are noisy and our ears weary with the thousand sounds of television, Internet news, social media, and political harangue assaulting us.  Give us the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to you.  ‘Speak, for your servant listens.’  Let me hear you speaking in my heart.  Let me get used to the still small sound of your voice, that its tones may be familiar to me when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of your speaking Voice.  Amen.”

A fellow traveler,
Tim

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