Daily D – Psalm 85:8
I will listen to what God will say; surely the LORD will declare peace to his people, his faithful ones, and not let them go back to foolish ways.
PSALM 85:8 (CSB)
GOD’s about to pronounce his people well,
The holy people he loves so much,
so they’ll never again live like fools.
One of my coworkers and I are hosting a Hearing God retreat today and tomorrow for the staff of a church of some prominence. We have worked with them on two other projects this year. This is the capstone for our time with them.
God is more interested in being heard than we are in hearing him.
My coworker will teach the acrostic HEAR(t) that helps people at this point. To hear God, we need to hunger and thirst for him and his words of truth and life. (H = Hunger). We need to expect God to speak to us (E = Expect). We should invite him to do so.
The tricky part of hearing God is making sure it is God we are hearing and not our own desires or the evil one’s deception. The more time we spend reading and pondering the Bible, and the more time we spend alone with God seeking his direction, the easier this becomes. When we learn to distinguish his voice from all other voices, we can receive his guidance with joy (A = Acknowledge).
Knowing what to do and doing it are two different matters. When we hunger and thirst, expect, and acknowledge God’s truth, we are to put it into practice (R = Respond). God speaks most clearly to those with willing and obedient hearts.
This may seem somewhat uncomfortable or maybe even frightening at first. Trust God for the strength you will need (T = Trust) for whatever he instructs. Trust him to provide whatever you need when you need it. Trust him for your next steps when you get where he is presently directing you.
God speaks through the Bible. He has preserved for us the truth we need to know how to relate to him and to others. He teaches us how to live and what to avoid. Pairing a Bible reading plan with the SOAP acrostic day by day helps us hear God in a systematic manner.
Pick out a Bible verse or more (S = Scripture) and note your observations about that text (O = Observation). What is God saying? Apply it to your life (A = Application). Turn that application into a prayer (P = Prayer).
These two acrostics serve us well in learning to hear and respond to God. You can create your own Hearing God retreat with these tools. You can use them profitably for the rest of your life. Using them with others reinforces and amplifies what you experience.
Add Dallas Willard’s Hearing God to your reading list. Pick up Learning to Hear God and Enjoying the Presence of God by Jan Johnson. Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God is also insightful.
God wants to speak to you. He gave you ears to hear. Are you listening, really listening?
I will learn to hear God better and better day by day.
Our Father, give me ears to hear what you are saying. Give me a willing and obedient heart to respond in faith and faithfulness. I want to know you more day by day. Here I am, show me your way. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.