Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Growing Up and Hearing God

My daughters are growing up too fast.  It's hard to believe that my girls are almost out of elementary school.  I recently set them up with email addresses, and so now I get cute emails and instant messages from them throughout the day.  It's amazing and a little scary to see them developing their personalities and independence.  One thing that I'm enjoying observing is their growing relationship with God.  I see them using the principles they have been taught at home and church in their interactions with their friends.  One of my daughters is especially inquistive about how God works, and has been reading "The battlefied of the mind (for kids)" by Joyce Meyer.  This is a really good book for her, as she has wrestled with fear and is learning how to ask God for strength and courage when she needs it.  The other night as Anne and I were tucking her in, she asked a great question.  She asked "How do I hear God's voice?"  At first I wasn't sure if she was asking this deep, unsimple question to prolong our visit to her room, or if she really was curious.  It became clear that she really wanted to know as she got out the book and began reading a passage that talked about hearing God.  I savored the opportunity to share with her about my own journey, and talk about how I recognize His voice in my life.  I am so glad that she is asking these questions and wants to not only learn about God, but to understand what it means to have a real relationship with Him.

So, How do we hear God's voice?  I don't have time to write a Theological study on the topic, but I will leave you with a couple of thoughts that I hope will cause you to dive in a little deeper.

1.  Be still and ready to listen- Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that He is God."  Our hectic lives leave little room for being still, but unless we stop and take time to spend with God, we might miss what He is saying to us.  When I am quiet and giving God my thoughts, will, and emotions, then I can focus on Him and become ready to receive.

2. "Open the eyes of my heart"-  There is a worship song that says "Open the eyes of my heart."  At first, being more of a literal guy, I didn't like that line.  After all, we don't have eyes in our heart! :) But the reality is that God is spiritual.  He created us as spiritual beings, with a soul.  When we can get past the distractions of the physical circumstances that we see with our natural eyes, then we can see clearly in the spiritual what God is saying to us.  In 2 Kings 6, the prophet Elisha's servant woke up one morning to some unwelcome guests, but Elisha helped him to see why there was no need to be afraid. 

"15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.

 16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

 17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

When we only see with our natural eyes, we lose sight of God's power.  He is with us no matter what it looks like on the outside.

3.  If you feel like God has spoken to you, make sure that it doesn't contradict something God has already said in His word.-  For instance, I told my daughter that since the bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear, she can be confident that any thought that causes her to be afraid is not from God.  Since He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we must make sure that we don't attribute something to God that doesn't line up with scripture.

3.  Finally, hear what God says and do it!-  When God speaks, take action.  James 1:22 says, "Don't just listen to God's word, you must do what it says, otherwise you are only fooling yourselves." 

Open up the eyes of your heart today and hear what God speaks to you! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post mark - just what i needed to "hear" that today...