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19 September 2012

Listening to God - 19 September

We’ve talked about God using our spirits to get our attention. Today we’ll talk about how God uses others to do the same thing.

Do you enjoy hearing about your sins? Is it exciting to receive an admonition from a friend? Of course not. Words from others can be a very powerful way for God to get your attention.

One of the greatest examples of God using someone to get a person’s attention is in David’s life. He lusted after Bathsheba, impregnated her, then had her husband killed in battle. He probably thought he had hidden his sin fairly well, but of course God knew ...

And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him… 2 Sam 12:1 (ESV)

David wasn’t happy with Nathan’s message, but he needed to hear it. The Lord chastised David; he turned his life around, and ultimately David was used as an example by Paul when he was called on to give a “word of encouragement” to the congregation at Antioch.

And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will. Acts 13:22 (ESV)

A negative experience can turn into a positive one, and sometimes the word you receive is positive. Has God ever sent someone to you to encourage you when you’re down? Have you ever listened to a sermon that you thought must be just for you because of the encouragement it gave you?

Maybe God wants you to know something. He might want to tell you about a job He has for you. He might want you to take an active role in someone’s life. When that happens, you might wonder if you’ve really heard from God, or if the word you heard is something that you want to do. How do you know whether it’s from God or your own desires? Pray, of course! If you don’t immediately feel peace, keep praying until you do.

I’ve followed “God’s will” many times, and things have gone completely amuck. I wanted to blame God for my failures, but each time I looked back in honesty, I saw that I acted on my own whim. If I had stopped to pray – and then taken the time to listen – I could have saved myself grief!

If you’re the journaling kind, you may consider writing down the times that God has used someone to encourage you, or to give you guidance, or even to show you what He wanted you to do. You will be amazed if you can take some time to reflect on the ways He has gotten your attention.

See you Friday!

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