Listening To God Through His Word

Until we take time to be quiet, we’ll not hear God. He will speak to us if we will give Him a chance, if we will listen, if we will be quiet. “Be still,” the psalmist wrote, “and know that I am God’ (Ps. 46:10). “ Listen carefully to Me, “ God pleads, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (Isa. 55:2-3) Listen to Him. There’s no other way to take Him in. “Your words were found, and I ate them” said Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16). Sit at His feet and let Him feed you. That’s the “better” place to be (Luke 10:38-42).

The problem with many of us is that, though we read God’s Word, we’re not feeding on God. We’re more intent on mastering the text – finding out its precise meaning, gathering theories and theologies – so we can talk more intelligently about God. The main purpose of reading the “come to Him,” to encounter Him as our living God.

Jesus said to the best-read Bible students of His day, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). We want to move beyond information to seeing God and being informed and shaped by His truth. There’s a passing exhilaration – the joy of discovery – in acquiring knowledge about the Bible, but there’s no life in it. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a stimulus to our interaction with God.

Start with a conscious desire to engage Him in a personal way. Select a portion of Scripture – a verse, a paragraph,  a chapter – and read it over and over. Think of Him as present and speaking to you, disclosing His mind and emotions and will. God is articulate: He speaks to us through His Word. Meditate on His words until His thoughts begin to take shape in your mind. Thoughts is exactly the right word because that’s precisely what the Bible is – “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16) When we read His word, we are reading His mind – what He knows, feels, wants, enjoys, desires, loves, hates.

Take time to reflect on what He is saying. Think about each word. Give yourself time for prayerful contemplation until God’s heart is revealed and your heart is exposed.

Read quietly, slowly , word for word to enter into the subject more with the heart than with the mind. From time to time make short pauses to allow these truths time to flow through all the recesses of the soul.”

Listen carefully to the words that touch your emotions and meditate on His goodness. “Feed on His faithfulness” (Ps. 37:3). Think about His kindness and those glimpses of His unfailing love that motivate you to love Him more (Ps. 48:9). Savor His words. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8).

Mother Teressa said, “ Spend one hour a day in adoration of the Lord and you’ll be all right. “ It’s not important how much time we spend at first. The important thing is to make a beginning. God’s Spirit will let us know where to go from there.

Our reading should be toward relishing God and delighting in Him – “to behold the beauty of the Lord,’ as David said (Ps. 27:4). When we approach God in that way, If inclines us to want more of Him. “I have tasted thee, and now I hunger for Thee.” It’s the pure in heart who shall see God, “ Jesus said (Matt. 5:8). The more of God’s truth we know and want to obey, the more we know.

We shouldn’t worry about our doubts either. How could God possibly reveal Himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? Those who believe they believe in God… without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, not in God himself.

Uncertainty is the name of the game. The best thing is to take our questionings and doubts directly to God, as David often did. His psalms are filled with discomfort and disagreement with God’s ways. He fills page after page with confusion and disbelief. God can handle our hesitancy.

Sometimes we’re mentally dull or emotionally flat, weary, and tired. On such occasions it’s worthless to try to make ourselves think more deeply or respond more intensely. We should never worry about how we feel. Even when our minds are confused or our hearts are cold, we can learn from our solitude. Don’t try to make your heart love God. Just give it to Him. If we don’t yet trust His heart, we should read the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There we hear what Jesus said and did and what was said about Him. There we see Him making visible the invisible God. The main use of the Gospels is to help us see the character of God made real, personal, and understandable in Jesus. What we see Jesus doing – caring, suffering, weeping, calling, seeking – is what God is doing and has been doing all along. If you can’t love God, try to see Him in Jesus. There He’s revealed as One who has no limits to His love; One to whom we can come with all our doubts, disappointments, and misjudgments; One “whom we can approach without fear and to whom we can submit ourselves without despair.” In the Gospels we see that God is the only God worth having.

Why Do We Pray?

Any thoughtful person wrestling with prayer asks “Why pray at all?” “Is the basic purpose of prayer to get things from God?”. What if God knows prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer is a supplying of our great, our endless need – the need of Himself?

Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need. Prayer is the beginning of that communion, of talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea, of existence itself.

God wants us for Himself. He desires communion with us. His purpose in prayer is not to make us sit up and beg. He wants us to know Him.

For that reason, God has made himself known through His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for our sin. If you don’t know Christ as your Savior, go to Him in prayer – maybe for the first time – confess your sin, and receive the forgiveness you need. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Then you’ll begin that all-important communication with God, which is as essential to your spiritual well-being as breathing is to your physical life.

Vine And Branches

Scriptures : John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

In the Old Testament, the vine was Israel where God had done everything he could to make them bear fruit but yet they bore none. It had forfeited his privilege.

In the New Testament, Jesus is the true vine, the true tabernacle, the bread of life, the light of the world, the only way and the door to everlasting life. He guaranteed the security of the true believer that whoever comes to HIM will never cast out and perish.

Treasures In Heaven

Scriptures : Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.

Storing your treasures on earth, therefore, leads to eternal loss. Real wealth is obtain by investing treasures in heaven. The way to lay up treasures in heaven is to develop Christ-like character. A character which is enhanced by actively spending time in personal devotions, prayer and bible study so that we can increase in faith, hope and charity.

We also lay up treasures in heaven when we actively work towards the salvation of others. The Bible mentions rewards await for those who serve the Lord faithfully. It encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who serve HIM heartily.

Taking Time Alone With GOD

Scripture : Matthew 6:6

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Where can we find solitude? Where can we find a quiet place in the midst of the demands of this world? “Go into your room,” Jesus said, “and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place” (Matt. 6:6).There is a meeting place as close as our closet door – a time and place where we can meet with God and hear His thoughts and He can hear ours; a time for the two of us when He can have our full attention and we can have His. Solitude is a healing place where God can repair the damage done by the noise of the world. “The more you visit it, the more you will want to return. “

“ I will awaken the dawn, “said David (Ps. 57:8). There’s something to be said for meeting God before our busy days and schedules begin to tyrannize us. But we must not understand this in some legalistic way to mean we have to get up before the sun to merit a meeting with God. For many mornings is the most opportune time; for others, it’s more of an opportunity for the devil. It’s something you have to work out with your body. The main thing is eagerness to meet Him.The advantage of doing so early is that we hear His thoughts before others invade our minds.

The first step is to find a Bible, a quiet place, and an uninterrupted period of time. Sit quietly and remind yourself that you’re in the presence of God. He is there with you, eager to meet with you. “Stay in that secret place, “ till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart, till a sense of God’s presence has enveloped you. Listen for His inward voice till you learn to recognize it.”