Listening to God’s Voice
Good Lord, help me to listen to You today, and to act on what You say to me.
Read Hebrews 3:7-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“God still speaks relevant words to his followers, and most likely a grand adventure with your name on it is on your heavenly Father’s lips” (Bill Hybels). Are you listening?
Thinking about Moses in yesterday’s reading leads the writer to consider the difficult people he led through the wilderness, and who never entered the Promised Land. The argument follows the Jewish procedure of “midrash,” elaborating on key words of the text.
First, “today.” When my cousin was small she announced that she wanted to be a saint. An issue then arose over who got the last piece of cake. Seizing the opportunity for teaching, my aunt reminded her of what she had said, to which she cheerfully replied, “Oh, I’ll start tomorrow.” Haven’t we all done that? The author speaks of hardness of heart (8). How often do we choose not to hear when hearing would require some change in our behavior? It is so easy, when we have experienced God’s grace, to take it for granted (Rom. 2:4). To guard against this, we need encouragement, with boldness, or honest conversation. How much encouragement do we receive–or give? Is someone praying for you regularly? Or phoning you, or encouraging you in some other way? Is there someone who will keep you accountable? How do you hear God’s voice? He speaks to us through other people (Christians and others), through his creation, through books, through circumstances. Supremely, he speaks through Scripture. He speaks to us individually, in full knowledge of what medium we are likely to listen to.
Many years ago, I was in the mountains when suddenly the words of Philippians 1:9 came to me: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more.” It was as though I had heard a living voice, and I realized that there was someone whom I was refusing to love. I was compelled to act on this without hesitation.
Ask not “What did your pastor preach about this?” or “What did you think in the past?” but “What is this passage saying to you today?” Wise words.
Patient Father, daily there are a multitude of voices assailing me: texts, e-mail, family, work, all crying out for my response. May I hear Your voice above the clamor.
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