Sunday, August 29, 2010

Are You Listening? - August 29, 2010

1 Kings 19:11-13 (New International Reader's Version)
11 The Lord said, "Go out. Stand on the mountain in front of me. I am going to pass by."

As the Lord approached, a very powerful wind tore the mountains apart. It broke up the rocks. But the Lord wasn't in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn't in the earthquake.

12 After the earthquake a fire came. But the Lord wasn't in the fire.

And after the fire there was only a gentle whisper.

13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his coat over his face. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave.

Then a voice said to him, "Elijah, what are you doing here?"

Mark 1:35 (New International Version)

35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Day after day we busy ourselves with many things; we get up, eat, get ready for the day, take kids to school, go to work, pick them up, come home, eat, go to activities or help with home work, watch some TV, go to sleep; did I mention eating? Each weekday morning, we pretty much do the same thing day after day. Weekends come, we get up, eat, go play or shop, eat, relax, eat, come home, go to sleep; on and on it goes.

For those of us who might take the time, we crack open the Bible, and maybe spend a little time with Him. We lift up short abreviated prayers, asking for this, thanking for that; "good morning Lord", "now I lay me down to sleep". Its a wonder that we ever hear God these days. Truth is that even when we reach out in times of trouble, we seldom take time to really spend time with Him. Instead we reach up to heaven in the place we afind ourselves and we lift up our pleas. But do we stop to listen for His answer? Do we sit still and listen? Do we really seek Him?

At a time Elijah the prophet of God to Israel was fleeing from Jezebel, who sought to kill him, God spoke to him in the midst of his trouble. You might want to grab your Bible and read through all that Elijah had been going through, but what is significant is where and how far God had to bring him before Elijah would stop to listen. And how does God speak to him? The Creator of the universe and Master of everything in nature, speaks to Elijah in a whisper, in a "still small voice", in a breeze some translations say. God finally has Elijah's attention when he is still enough, and focused enough to hear God in a whisper.

In our very busy and sometimes troubled lives, we need to take the time to go off by ourselves and listen to God speak to us. We usually don't hear from Him because we have not slowed down or even stopped for Him. We do not give Him priority in our lives, and because of this, we miss out on a tender and intimate relationship He offers to us all. We miss out to timely, God-inspired, solutions to our problems, and we miss out on His direction and guidance. Guys really have a difficult time with this. First of all, we think we can handle anything, and secondly we seldom slow down enough to really listen.

We need to follow after our shepherd Jesus, who being fully man was fully God, yet took the time and secluded himself to talk with his Father in heaven. As you study the four gospel accounts about the life of Jesus, you will find that he did this frequently. Can you imagine that the One who took part in Creation, still humbled Himself to spend time with his Father?
If you are in that troubled place, or you are just needing a guiding hand, make a commitment to take the time, go off by yourself and seek your Father in heaven. Listen for God in the whisper, in His still small voice, in the breeze, and find comfort in His caring embrace.

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