A number of months ago I was lying on my bed halfway sleeping when I had a dialog with God. I remember it very vividly because it was almost dreamlike yet very real… it happened on the edge of sleep and on the edge of consciousness. I was having a conversation with someone, (who later to find out happened to be the Lord), about spiritual things and basically in the midst of a great conversation I demanded that they hush up and let me explain to them the real truth of the matter.
When I woke up from my sleep or whatever it was, I was heart broken and I knew what God was telling me. He was saying in a round about way to shut up, my ways are higher than your ways or for the sake of this blog to listen.
The more I have been in this walk with God the more I find that listening to God is most difficult and important aspect of being a follower of Christ. In fact it is the basics of being in the faith. Let me drop a note here and define what I mean when I say listen… when I say listen I mean to hear and obey the same meaning that James mentions when he says to be doers of the word not just hearers. Listening to God is one of the basic principals to being a disciple, listening to God is like getting a new baseball glove for the new season. The glove is what you use to play in the first game. The glove is not just for some of the players but for all. It is not the purpose but a tool to use.
Praise God for the many oracles he has sent into my life that speak truth into my life. But what is the use of an oracle if I do not obey the words I here. God is merciful this is true; he forgives to the uttermost when we disobey and is He is longsuffering and patient. But for those of us who desire to grow closer to God and to be used by God, listening has to come and play center stage in our lives.
If we do not listen here is what happens, as mentioned in Luke7:29 “When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized?”
You see the people who heard God’s messenger John and obeyed were given the ability to receive further instruction from Jesus. But those who did not listen the God’s messenger John the Baptist could not hear any further.
As a church we are addicted to good feelings, good sermons, goose bumps, words of encouragement, words of wisdom, words of prophecy, but do you know what we really need? Do you know what will grow us closer to the warm embrace of the father? A word of correction.
That’s what the children of God need to hear from there heavenly Father. Our heart has to be bent toward the will of the Father. It is absolutely primary to the Christian faith that our desires be in line with the will of the Father. James speaks of a person’s prayers not being answered because they have a divided heart. “You kingdom come your will be done” has to be our goal.
For prayer of any sort, the first task in praying for any need is to do your best to discern what the will of the Father is, and firmly agree with it. If you want to have a great time in prayer and feel the goodness of God pray for his will.
In Ezekiel 37:3-4 God spoke to Ezekiel and said,” Son of Man can these bones live?” Ezekiel then said to God “Sovereign Lord, only you know” Then God spoke to Ezekiel and told him to speak to the dry bones. If you notice that the prayer began with God speaking to Ezekiel and as God spoke to Ezekiel, Ezekiel responded “only you know”. Or we could substitute it your will be done.
So may you ask for the Father to help you hear and obey. May you dare to ask the Lord to reveal anything in your life that is unpleasing and may you see the ultimate and necessary value of being doers of God’s word. Father your kingdom come your will be done.