Daily D – Habakkuk 2:20
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let the whole earth be silent in his presence.
HABAKKUK 2:20 (CSB)
Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!”
Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Just as dreams accompany much labor, so also a fool’s voice comes with many words.
(Ecclesiastes 5:2, 3)
Designing Women was a television show that ran from 1986-1993. Each episode featured a conflict one of five southern women had in a world that was not progressing fast enough for them. Everything led up to the main character making a politically correct speech about how things ought to be. The live television audience (and canned laughter and applause) roared their approval.
It has been said that everyone has a book in them. Likewise, everyone has a speech they would like to deliver if they only had an audience.
Much to be preferred is not to be heard but to listen attentively to God’s Word. Whatever is on our minds, whatever is in our hearts, pales in comparison to what God has to say. We cannot hear him if we insist on talking. We cannot hear him if we insist on making our speech.
A friend of mine took a long walk one day to yell at God. He cursed. He accused. He blamed God for all of his problems. When he returned, he said he felt better. He felt better, but he was unchanged. I am pretty sure he did not listen to God that day. He is not listening still.
Rather than express your need to be heard, maybe sit and listen for a while. There are times when you need to pour out your heart to God. This is good. There are times when you explain to him your thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires. This is appropriate.
Do not, however, leave before the benediction. Listen all the way to the end. Do not move on until you have heard from God.
Some years ago, our staff led a Hearing God retreat for a local nonprofit. One woman determined that she would not hear from God because God does not speak and she wasn’t sure there even is a God. Her obstinance lasted twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes of our twenty-four-hour retreat. Then she heard from God and her heart melted. Tears overflowed their ducts. Peace replaced angst.
Our Father in heaven wants to speak to your heart. For him to be heard, you and I need to stop talking and start listening. There is no room for impulsive behavior. God will not be ruled by the time and calendar on your Apple Watch. He will not be hurried by your To-Do list. He is not concerned about all your other priorities, those things you place between him and you.
God speaks to those who listen. God speaks to those who attune their hearts and incline their ears to him and will settle for nothing less. There is nothing more important than hearing God. Get comfortable with silence. Eliminate hurry. Be still. Be quiet. Listen.
Little Samuel’s prayer is a good one to begin your time alone with God (1 Samuel 3:9). Silence is your friend. Peaceful sitting or walking without a timer places you where you need to be. Invite God to speak. Expect him to do so. Acknowledge his truth when you hear it. Do what he says.
I will focus on hearing God.
Our Father, what you have to say is far more important than anything on my mind. I will cultivate a heart at ease with silence. I will place myself in a place of readiness to hear from you. I will receive whatever you say with joy. I will follow your directions. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.