Daily D – Luke 11:28
Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (NIV)
What kind of life does God bless? A life attuned and aligned with his heart and mind.
My coworker Becky and our good friend and ministry partner Scott returned from the Pacific Northwest yesterday afternoon. This required a 4 AM wake-up call, a 5 AM ride to the airport, and a flight of a little over three hours.
The twenty-four-hour shuttle from our hotel to the airport didn’t work out. Apparently, the shuttle driver was still asleep when we needed to leave. The hotel paid for our cab to the airport. How nice is that? If you ever need a hotel near the Seattle airport, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Home 2 Suites by Hilton.
I appreciate them paying for our cab ride. However, an Uber or Lyft might have been less terrifying. The taxi was a Prius. Becky, Scott, and I are not big people. This is a really, really good thing because the backseat in a Prius is not made for three taller or broader than average people. I don’t think it is made for three average-sized people.
Scott and I had seatbelts, but Becky did not. The driver either had someplace else to be or a death wish. He drove that Prius faster than a Prius can actually go. Contingency plans for keeping Becky from going through the windshield were in place. The practice of prayer is accentuated in such circumstances.
Our Father in heaven heard and answered our prayers and we arrived safely at SeaTac. Our flight home was smooth and pleasant.
The pastors and leaders we worked with had several opportunities to spend time alone with God pondering prescribed passages from the Bible. We debriefed them after each session and recorded what they said. God still speaks to those who will listen.
Somewhere along the way, I heard someone say, “God is more interested in being heard than we are in hearing him.” This is truer than true. He would like to speak to you.
God speaks through the Bible. God speaks to our hearts. God speaks through those who know him well. Two good books to help you learn how to hear God are Dallas Willard’s _Hearing God_ and Jan Johnson’s _Learning to Hear God_. If you love deep learning, Willard’s _Hearing God_ is the book for you. If you prefer your cookies on the bottom shelf, _Learning to Hear God_ is the book for you.
I love both of these books and everything else these two authors have written.
You do not have to go on a retreat to hear God. Hearing God can become a regular practice, a daily exercise, a moment-by-moment reality. God speaks most clearly to those who listen habitually and expectantly.
My coworker Becky has an acrostic to help us learn how to hear God:
H – Hunger and thirst for him and his words of truth and life.
E – Expect him to speak to you.
A – Acknowledge it is him speaking to you. He always is consistent and will never tell you anything contrary to his truth as revealed in the Bible.
R – Respond in faith. Jesus said we are to hear and obey God. Obedience is not a burden because God always leads us to do what is right, just, fair, compassionate, and loving.
T – Trust God from the bottom of your heart. His every desire for you is good, perfect, and pleasing.
What do you need God to speak to you about today? How will you respond to him when he does?
Learning to hear and obey God is the most important lesson we ever learn. It is also the most important lesson we ever teach. Learn to hear God and help others learn as well.
I will learn to hear God with ever-greater clarity and obedience.
Our Father, what you want to say to me is what I most need to hear. What you want me to do is what I most need to do. Speak, for your servant is listening. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”