GOD SPEAKS TO THOSE WHO LISTEN (Listening to God 19)

            ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, is mostly an organic problem which tends to run in families.  It is characterized by the inability to sustain focused attention.  Symptoms include distractibility, inattention, impulsiveness, insatiability and hyperactivity.  Many Christians suffer from a kind of spiritual ADD.  We don’t hear from God as clearly as we might because we are distracted, inattentive and hyperactive. 

            We all hear from God much easier when we are quietly spending time with Him.  But in our lives today there always seems to be some sound to distract, some interruption to interfere or some activity to get involved in.  God doesn’t shout over everything else in our lives.  A five-minute devotional in the morning while rushing to get ready for work is no solution. 

            Charles Stanley says, “As we walk in the Spirit daily, surrendered to His power, we have the right and privilege to expect anything we need to hear from God.  The Holy Spirit living within us and speaking to us ought to be the natural lifestyle of believers.  We claim His presence, direction, and guidance by faith.”

            Listening means using frequency, intensity and time.  How does your communication with God stand up to the “F-I-T” test?  Frequency, Intensity, Time – all are necessary. 

            In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”  Jesus calls to us, His voice is there if we will but open the door and listen.  He wants a continual dialogue, not just a Sunday-morning chat. In any relationship, the more time spent listening the better we understand the other person and the easier we can grasp what they are saying.  That’s why we can understand our friends better than strangers.  Is God a friend you are familiar with or a stranger to you?  The more you listen to God the easier it will be to recognize and understand His voice.  Children learn to recognize their parent’s voice; mates can read much meaning into simple statements by each other.  That happens as we spend frequent time listening to God.

            God says through Jeremiah (29:12-13), “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  My radio has a dial where I can choose what station I want to receive.  Those I don’t want I reject, those I want to listen to I focus in on.  The same is true of us listening to God.  We must tune out the voices that come from self, the world, the flesh or Satan and tune into God’s frequency only.  As with a radio, we can only be tuned to one station at a time!  We need intensity in our seeking to listen to God, as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 42:1-2: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?”

            We also need to spend time in communication with God.  Mary chose to spend time with Jesus despite all the other things that needed doing in her life (Luke 10:41-42) and God blessed her for that choice.  I read one author that said God would speak to us in one of two ways.  He will whisper in our ear or hit us on the head with a brick.  We can listen for the whisper or wait for the brick.  More often than not, the brick comes because we haven’t been listening for the whisper. 

            How do you rate yourself in seeing prayer as dialogue?  What about the frequency, intensity and time of your time spent listening to God?  Make a note of it over the next few days and see what God shows you about your listening skills.

(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/.  My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
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