Learning to Listen to God

      This past weekend, we spent three days with our teens and families teaching them how to listen to God in various ways. Hopefully, we gave them some tools that will help them develop and improve their daily Christian disciplines like quiet time, prayer, reading Scripture, writing down what they hear, etc.

      Sometimes, our daily disciplines, that are designed to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, take effort and commitment. Other times, our study and prayers seem to flow without much effort at all.

      This past week, a friend sent me an article that recently appeared in an Arkansas newspaper. The article mentioned various brothers/congregations in our fellowship and the differences they hold about various issues the church is facing today. Some of the brothers were very aggressive and condemning with the words they used to describe the actions of the brothers with whom they disagreed.

      Later that very day, during my personal quiet time and reflection on God’s word, I “accidentally” came across the following passage. Sometimes we need to simply stop our teaching and preaching and let God do the talking. Here is what I found recorded in His word in the book of James:

“Don’t speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God’s law. But you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey it. God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to condemn your neighbor?”

      It was so obvious and so clear: God has a job to do and so do we. God’s job involves many things that He never intended for us to worry about. It is God’s job to create the law, to judge people by that law, to save and to destroy. Our job is simple: obey Him.

      May we learn to listen to God. May we be slow to speak and quick to listen. May we be slow to speak out against those who differ from us and quick to listen to God’s Word, Voice and Spirit. May we learn to focus on doing what He wants us to do instead of trying to do His job for Him. Remember, He is ALMIGHTY GOD and He is very capable of being God without our help.

      My prayer for each of you this week is that you will spend some time alone with God every day listening to what He wants to say to you. (I Corinthians 2:10-16.)

Brad Pistole
5 February 2004

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