Listening to God (by Gary Roberts)

“The Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.” John 5:19

I want to be a person who has ears for God. If I’m honest when I sense God whispering to my heart I’m not always crazy about what I sense God telling me to do. Like the time God called me into the ministry. When I went forward to the altar in 1961 I didn’t know that was going to be God’s call upon my life to go into the pastoral ministry.

I’ve learned over the years that when I listen to God I discover God’s best for my life. The more my trust in God grows the easier it is for me to hear when God whispers. I’ve seen again and again that God’s way lead to God’s goodness for my life. And when I am faithful God’s mercy follows me too.

When I surrendered to what God was calling for my life I started listening closer for that still small voice and as I listened it wasn’t long before I started trusting God more. Once that happened I began to experience a day-by-day abiding in God’s presence and promises. I learned that God’s plan for my life unfolds one day at a time.

One day while I was praying about God’s direction the Holy Spirit showed me that I had a habit of asking God what God wanted me to do and where God wanted me to invest my life. Then I would go about doing what I thought best without depending on God for direction each step of the way.

Oftentimes, I would seek God for more convinced that if I figured out what God wanted me to do then I could become the person God created me to be and fulfill the calling God had upon my life. Have you ever thought: “If only God would show me what job to take; what person to marry; where I should live, what ministry I should serve in – then my life would be complete and I could trust God with my whole heart”?

The problem is that sometimes we get a glimpse of where God wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there. Or we get a peek at what God wants us to do and think we know how God wants us to get it done. How many times have I made that mistake and then wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere?

Over time, God has taught me that God wants my spiritual ears more than my spiritual efforts. God wants daily dependence, interaction and intimacy with me. God wants to just love me. And I’ve discovered that God is more concerned with my character than with my calendar.

Jesus depended on the Father for everything in His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly. In John 5 we see Jesus’ absolute dependence: “The Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.”

We are to be like Jesus and discover God’s purpose for our lives through hearts that are dependent upon the Spirit’s leading; that seek to listen for God’s whispers day by day, moment by moment. How vital for a joy filled life to position our hearts, minds and souls so we hear God when God speaks.

Let us pray: O Lord I want to become a person who listens to You. I come to You today with a seeking heart, asking not only for direction but for discernment, humility and dependence on You in each step that I take. For it is in the Name of the One who is altogether worthy – the One who loves me so – Jesus that I pray. Amen.


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