Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Listening to God

But whoever listens to me will live in safety

and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Proverbs 1:33

Most of us talk away to God, rambling off requests for what we want and think we need. I'm not saying our prayers aren't legit, but even though I love to share ways to listen to the inaudible voice of God I still have to tackle a universal problem: when I pray, how often do I sit still and listen for the answer?

God commands us to "Be still and know that He is God." I don't think it is an accident that after God gives the incredible promise in Proverbs 1:33 (above), He follows with three big "Ifs" in Proverbs 2:1-4 to give us practical ways to be still and know.

1. My son (daughter), IF you accepts my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom apply your heart to understanding,

2. and IF you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

3. and IF you look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure.

Then comes the thens. . .then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path . . . Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you (Proverbs 2:5-11).

Wow! Those are some awesome promises. How can you and I apply the three "ifs" to everyday life?

1. How do you accept God's words and store them up? Find a good Bible study and sit still long enough to do it. Right now, I'm doing the workbook inside the incredible book by Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams: God's Unexpected Path to Joy. If you are already in a Bible Study, go a step deeper by doing word studies on some of the passages you are studying. I love my Strong's Complete Word Study Concordance, published by AMG. You can look up the text in Hebrew (Old Testament) and in Greek (New Testament) and learn the original meanings of the words God uses in His Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek dictionary in this Concordance is expanded and a wonderful asset to your studies.

2. How do you practically call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding? Besides shouting out to God in prayer, I started by asking trustworthy Christians lots of questions. Don't remain quiet because you think your questions are dumb. Ask anyway! And if your heart hurts from the trash this broken world dumps on you, cry with a professional counselor. I did and my healing has deepened and I'm much stronger than ever before.

3. How do you look for it as silver and search for it like treasure? For that you go back to number one again. Like searching for treasure, Bible Study is hard work. IF you want the promises above to become evident in your daily life. Don't give up! Keep studying! I'm praying for you all the way.

Dear Lord Jesus, Inspire us to make an effort to listen to you every day. We want to live in safety in this crazy world and be at ease, without fear of harm. In your precious name we pray. Amen!

1 comment:

mrsnice777 said...

I love the "ifs" in the bible! His promises are so good!

Thx for sharing!