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22 October 2012

Listening to God - October 22

We are at the end of our study. Today we will think about preparing to meet God and being still before God as we seek to hear His voice.

How can we meet God without carving out time in our day to do so? There’s no way, of course. You need time alone with God. Your family members need to understand that you need this time. It’s a daily appointment with God.

God doesn’t look for quantitative time. He wants quality time. If you know that you can only carve out a few minutes at first, then do that. As you progress, you will find a need for more and more time.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Matt 5:6 (ESV)

When you are preparing to go before God, make sure that:

1.       You have an open mind and heart. You must be willing to accept whatever God says to you!
2.       Your mind and heart are clear of doubt that you will hear from Him.
3.       You must have an uncluttered mind, focusing entirely on God and leaving your frustrations and concerns outside. (Of course, you may be asking about those same fears and frustrations, but you must leave the emotions aside!)

When you get ready to come before God, you should feel eager, anticipatory, focused on Him, and hungry for His wisdom.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him
Psalms 37:7 (ESV)

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  
Psalms 46:10 (ESV)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Most people find it difficult to be still, to sit quietly and focus our thoughts on God. Our lives are too hectic and filled with noise. Stillness and quietness may be uncomfortable at first. But we need to be still to remove distractions and focus on God.

Sit quietly. Think about becoming closer to God. What image do you come up with? (this is not about any eastern form of meditation. We are not saying a word to get closer to God, nor are we imaging Him. We are simply sitting in stillness.) We know that God wants to draw closer to us.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.  
 Eccl 5:1 (ESV)

Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways… they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. 
 Isaiah 58:2 (ESV)

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  
 Lam 3:25-26 (ESV)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.   
Heb 4:16 (ESV)

Can you really hear your spouse, or your children, or your boss, if you aren’t sitting quietly and waiting for their words? If you’re going into a human conversation with baggage, or defensively, or angrily – can you really hear the other person? How much more do you need to be quiet and wait to hear the creator of the universe?

Can you commit to sitting in stillness for a few minutes today and tomorrow? Anticipate hearing from Him. Feel the sense of awe and wonder associated with drawing near to God. You may find this difficult, but it’s essential to sit quietly to really hear what God has to say.

On Wednesday, we’ll talk about another aspect of waiting on God that the Israelites excelled in: recalling God’s goodness. Between now and then, take time to be still!

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