Hearing God; October 5, 2020

Proverbs 3:32 For the Lord detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.

Some people say they want to hear from God, and others insist that claiming to hear from God is a sign of mental illness. I really think they would change their tune if they actually heard from Him! However, those I have heard express that attitude seem to me to fit into the first category mentioned here. There are many motives for wanting to hear from God. Some people desire it as a source of power, as a way of having control over others. That immediately puts them into the first category, and if they do hear, it’s most probably a lying, evil spirit rather than God. This verse says that the way to hear God is to be upright, that is, to be both honest and humble. The Japanese says that God is on close terms with such people, and the NIV says He tells them things. Those are both expressions of the same sort of relationship. If we aren’t seeking to please and obey God, then we don’t really want to hear from Him, because we don’t want Him to correct us. However, it’s when we recognize our own weaknesses and know that He is our only hope of salvation that we earnestly seek Him. As He told Jeremiah, it is when we have that attitude that He opens His heart to us. “’Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

I will never forget the first time I heard the Lord in what might as well have been audible words. I was faced with some sort of major decision and I wanted to know God’s will on it. I was driving, and praying as I drove. “Lord, speak to me! I need to hear what You are thinking on this issue.” I had been praying like that nonstop for several minutes, when suddenly I heard Him say to me, “Well then, shut up.” I was utterly shocked, and I did shut up, and then I laughed. I realized that I had been so full of my supposed “need to know” that my heart was closed to hearing Him, so He had to use my ears. It was such a shock that I now have no idea what the issue was about which I was praying so earnestly, but I’ll never forget hearing God in that way, and the lesson of needing to be quiet before Him. I was greatly blessed to be raised by a father who not only was totally dedicated to God, he operated on the foundational principle of absolute honesty. To me, he was the very definition of an upright man. It is my desire and goal to be like him, delighting in God even as I am pleasing to Him, doing His will for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your patience in the many times I have been so caught up in what I saw as the problem that my heart wouldn’t get quiet enough to listen to You. Thank You for meeting with me morning by morning like this. You are indeed more than I could ever ask for. May I be the son You desire, in all gratitude and obedience. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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