It’s a fact of life: Most of us just do not listen to what is being said. Our minds are so busy with our own agendas. How many times I have sat in church, my face attentively turned toward the speaker, my face a picture of rapt attention; yet my mind was at home or at work – rearranging furniture, solving my latest crisis, cooking dinner, preparing this newsletter! I know I am not alone in this. You’ve done it too. And we wonder why God doesn’t speak to us! We wonder why we don’t see more of His supernatural intervention in our lives!
The truth is – He is speaking. We are not listening. In fact, He may be speaking to us in a loud voice, trying to get our attention.
Do you remember to story of Lazarus? He died and was already decaying by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. His sisters were distraught. Their friends were all gathered around to share their grief. “What took you so long?” one of the girls seemed to lash out in her grief. “If you had only been here, our brother would not have died.” Jesus was so touched by their sorrow that he cried with them. But He didn’t stop there. He performed the miracle they had all been waiting for. Notice how the Bible relates this in John 11:38-44.
“Then Jesus, again, groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’
Martha . . . said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you will see the glory of God?’
Then they took away the stone . . . . And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard me. And I know that You always hear me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’
Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’
And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him and let him go.'”
I’m afraid our Father must sometimes speak to us in a loud voice to get our attention. Then, when He finally gets us to a place where we can listen, I wonder if He looks at us to find us “bound hand and foot with graveclothes”? I mean, have we become so “dead” to His voice that He must cut through layers and layers to set us free before we are any earthly good to Him? What are you layered with, dear friend? Your business? Busy-ness? Your job? Pursuing your goals? Sports? Television? Shopping? Trouble-making? Worrying? Loneliness? Surfing the Internet? Is God calling out to you in a LOUD voice?
We want to see angels. We want to be”touched” by them. We want to experience the supernatural events that others seem to see and experience. But what we really need is to be touched by His hand; to be set free from the cares of life and the sins that so easily entrap and drag us down. When His hand touches us and we allow Him to set us free, then we can truly hear His voice. We will recognize His divine intervention in our lives. We will be content with whatever He sends our way. We will not be seeking “angelic encounters.” We will be seeking Him. We will rest in the knowledge that the holy angels, His servants, will be there ministering to us, serving us whether we see them or not.
As you begin to commune with Him in thanksgiving, He will begin to speak with words of love and direction to your heart. The Psalmist said, “God inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psalm 22:3) To “inhabit” means “to sit down and remain, to settle, or to marry.” In other words, God does not merely come for a “visit” when we begin to praise Him. He stays with us in partnership. We begin a loving, trusting relationship where listening is as important as speaking. When we speak, He listens. When He speaks, we listen. He doesn’t have to speak with a loud voice because our ears are open and attentive to His voice. Ours is a loving, growing, vibrant relationship of love and affection. I can assure you, when you have this kind of on-going fellowship with our wonderful Father, you will never have to search for His angels. The Scriptures tell us they encamp around about those who reverence Him.
Again, I entreat you, learn to listen. Look for God in the small things. Have you praised Him today for your very breath? Your life? Your family? Your job? Your friends?
Will you join me in this prayer, “Dear Lord, open my ears that I may hear your voice. Teach me how to listen to You. Open my heart that I may obey your Word. Open my mind that I may understand Your ways and be willing to walk as You lead me.” Amen!