Listening to God Now — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Listening to God Now — Morning Devotions

Our Father God is speaking to us all the time, but most of us fail to stop long enough, and be still enough, to listen.

By Chris WittsWednesday 19 Jun 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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In George Bernard Shaw’s play Saint Joan, one of the characters asks Joan of Ark why the voice of God never speaks to him as she claimed his voice constantly spoke to her. She says, “The voice speaks to you all the time. You just fail to listen.”

When I read that statement, it made me think. How true it is with us today! We become so preoccupied with life and its issues that we don’t hear God speaking to us. If only we could take time each day to stop and listen to him. Joan of Ark was correct—our Father God is speaking to us all the time, but most of us fail to stop long enough, and be still enough, to listen.

I also came across an old proverb that says, “All those who open their mouths, lose their eyes.” It took me a few minutes to work out what it meant, All those who open their mouths lose their eyes. Think about it. It means we lose our spiritual sight because we’re too busy talking. I know some people who are so busy talking they never stop to listen to the silence.

Once we hear God’s voice, we can start a plan to do what he wants, and he’ll let us know where to go. So many of us fight the battles of life blind because we never listen to God’s guidance—guidance that is given through his Holy Spirit, through his Word, and through other people.

When your life depends on your listening

You may not have heard the name Erik Weihenmayer. Erik is blind, but in spite of that, on May 25, 2001 he reached the top of Mt Everest. Suffering from a degenerative eye disease, Weihenmayer lost his sight when he was 13, but that didn’t stop him. On a mountain where 90% of climbers never make it to the top (and 165 have died trying since 1953) Erik succeeded, in large measure because he listened well.

He listened to the little bell tied to the back of the climber in front of him so he would know what direction to go. He listened to the voice of teammates who would shout back to him, Death fall two feet to your right so he would know what direction not to go. He listened to the sound of his pick jabbing the ice, so he would know whether the ice was safe to cross.

I like that story because it means he relied on the guidance of others. How unwise we are to avoid the voice of God, a God who loves us today and forever.

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When will we learn that God knows the way ahead better than we do? The Bible has so much to say about that. If we pray, we think it’s all about ourselves and what we want, a ‘one-way’ conversation. But we don’t listen to God’s response, and we miss out on so much. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”—’be still’ meaning hush and listen.

Does God still speak to people?

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man couldn’t help but wonder, Does God still speak to people? After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began praying, God, if you still speak to people speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey. As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, God, is that you?

He didn’t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn’t recognise the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli: Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk. It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

Is this really from You God?

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, Turn down that street. He thought, This is crazy, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he returned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, Okay, God, I will. He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around.

He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of neighbourhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed. Again, he sensed something, Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street. The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep.

He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid. Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.

God still answers prayers

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away. A man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep: “What is it?” The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.”

The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half-crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I asked him to send an angel with some. Are you an angel?” The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, “…to draw near [to God] and listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools.” We read in Proverbs 18:15, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” And, do you remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24-25, where he said, “Every one who hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.” In Luke 8:18 he made it even more plain by saying, “…consider carefully how you listen.”