TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, December 10, 2018:
Hear attentively; pay heed.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In the verse above (Proverbs 3:5-6) when Jesus says acknowledge He means that we are to consider what He is saying, recognize His great power, trust His guidance, and follow His instructions. He is continually seeking to guide us but if we are not listening, we will miss His instructions and go the wrong way.
When Jesus was on this earth, He made it clear many times that He wanted people to listen to Him. In Mark 4:1-3 He taught a large crowd and called for their attention by saying, “listen.” In Mark 4:23-24 Christ also announced, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And then said, “Pay attention to what you hear.” The NIV version reads, “Consider carefully what you hear.” In other words, think deeply about what you hear.
In Mark 7:14 Jesus called out, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand.” His goal was that we understand what He is saying and comprehend what He says. All to often we hear with our ears but we don’t let what we hear really penetrate our hearts and minds so that we gain spiritual understanding.
Jesus uses the phrase verily, verily over 25 times in the book of John alone. It was His way of emphasizing what He was saying. His words were the authoritative truth and deserved full attention.
Many people ask how God speaks to us today. His primary way of speaking to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and the only source of truth. When we read it we are hearing directly from the Lord. This, for some, is a hard concept to understand. It is so simple but we try to make it complicated. Every word in the Bible is from God. Read it and listen. Hear and see what God is saying as you read His Word.
To listen to the Lord speak to us, we must learn to identify His voice. God’s voice will always be consistent with the scriptures. God’s voice may often be in conflict with your human reasoning. God’s voice will clash with fleshly desires (Galatians 5:17 above). Our fleshly desires come from our sinful nature. Those controlled by the sinful nature will turn a deaf ear to what God says.
God’s voice will challenge us by leading us to do something we feel incapable of doing. To listen and obey God’s voice always calls for courage on our part. His voice will speak quietly but clearly if we are listening.
God also speaks to us through prayer. Prayer is our way to communicate to God. But we need to learn that it is a time for us to be still and listen, as we pray, and wait for God to give us guidance. When we wait and listen, God will bring thoughts to our hearts and convictions to our minds of things we need to address in our life. As we wait on the Lord, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
When our situation is painful, God sometimes will speak to us through the circumstance of the time. We need to learn that instead of focusing on why the situation happened we need to ask God what He wants to say to us. God also will speak to us through other people. This can be in a form of words of confirmation to a thought you have or of encouragement or even of a warning.
God’s voice is always consistent to His Word. His voice is quiet. He speaks to our hearts through His Holy Spirit. The Lord speaks clearly if we are tuned in and willing to listen. We get tuned in by reading His Word and praying and then waiting and listening.
The Lord gets our attention to communicate with Him by various ways. Sometimes it will be a sense of restlessness. Other times it will be loud and clear because we know the difference between right and wrong and when things are wrong in our life God will convict us.
Our memory verse for this week, Christmas month, is found in Luke 2:12.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
Keep me diligent to listening for Your voice. Give me patience to wait on You for Your word of direction and correction in my life. Keep me faithful in trusting and obeying You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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