Hearing from God; November 29, 2021


Psalm 28:6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.

It’s interesting to be struck by a verse that I had not underlined before! What strikes me is the shift, from pleading to be heard in verse one to this complete assurance. The editors put a gap between verse four and verse five, and indeed it’s possible that David wrote the first half and then some time later wrote the second, after God had acted on his behalf. I think rather that verse five is what David heard in his heart the Lord say about his enemies, and that is what flipped his mood. That understanding gives me great peace! God does speak to our hearts, and the awareness that He has spoken to us changes everything. We actually have an innate hunger to hear from Him, our heavenly Father, but the devil does all he can to distract us from that. That’s why John wrote, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15) That is exactly what David experienced as he was writing this Psalm. That’s why we need to be tuned always to listen to God, and not to just keep “bombarding heaven’s gates,” as someone once put it.

I’ve written about it before, but I’ll never forget the first time God spoke to me so clearly that it might as well have been an audible voice. I happened to be driving, and as I often do, I was praying as I drove. I had a particular issue on my heart, and I was pleading with God to speak to me what His will was about it. When I paused for breath, I heard very clearly, “Well then, shut up.” I was totally shocked, but then I had to laugh at my own foolishness. I had been getting in the way of the answer to the very thing I was praying! I don’t remember the issue I was praying about, but I will never forget what God taught me about being quiet enough to listen to Him. The literary term for hearing from God is epiphany, and I have seen it tossed around with no reference to God at all. I think that’s very foolish, and very unfortunate. I need to give God the glory for what He speaks to me, not pretending that I “discerned” it by my “great intellect and understanding.” He did give me a high IQ, but that’s led me astray more times than I could count. I’ve got to be quiet and humble before Him, listening to Him and not interjecting my opinion. I am to be honest with Him, and with myself, about how I feel and what I would like, but He alone is to be Lord in my life. If God said it, that settles it, whether I believe it or want it, humanly speaking, or not.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I do ask for discernment, because the devil throws his lies at me with great cunning. Help me indeed hear what You are saying to me, just as David often did, and not turn you off, so to speak, as David unfortunately also did. May I not only hear you, may I also do everything You tell me to, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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