Monday, June 8, 2009

Motherly Devotion: Listen to God

Jesus did not promise us a trouble free life. In fact, there will be difficulties. In these times of trouble we need to learn to listen to God. Hearing from God takes spiritual discipline. First we need to take that time away from our family & spend a few minutes in silence to listen. After all it is hard to hear anything when kids & husband are demanding our attention. Let them know that you need this time & lock yourself away from the chaos.

Forget you are the mom who takes care of everything & become the child. Come before your Father in openness & trust. This may be hard for those, like myself, who did not have an earthly father that they could trust. Remember that your heavenly Father loves you more than you love your own him & he will respond. Ask him for instruction & wait until you hear His voice.

Have a journal with you & write down the things you believe God is telling you. Journaling is important because a few days from now when the family is once again demanding your attention, or if you have a short memory as I do, you may actually forget what it was that God spoke to you. Also write down the prayers that you requested because God may not answer those immediately or it may be done without you even realizing it until you look back. Look at the prayer requests a year from now & you may see that each one has been answered in His time. This gives you a record of how God is working in your life.

Discuss what God has shown to you with your husband, if you are married. If you are single find a pastor, close friend, or spiritual mentor to share with. This is important. If they do not perceive it is from God ask them to pray about it with you for a few days. Listen to Godly counsel & your husband, even if he is not a Christian. Pray for your husband if he is not a Christian that God will give him Godly wisdom to help you. If the message is from God there will be agreement from all of your Godly authorities.

Any message you receive from God should be supported by Scripture. When ever you have doubts look in the is our guide book. God can speak to you as you read His word if you are listening.

Sometimes we are afraid to listen to God. We are afraid He will ask us to do something that will create challenges in our lives. Or maybe you are afraid that what you "think" you hear is not really from Him, did we hear wrong...are we going to be doing something foolish.

My best friend where I live heard from God this past year & he asked her to do something drastic. She is packing up her three children & moving them to the Philippines...literally half way around the world. She will be working in a business that will donate much of their profits to an orphanage that she visited there last summer. Her husband is staying behind in the States for 6 months to a year (with some commuting in between) to finalize personal obligations. You can believe she met with opposition...but not from me.

I love her like a sister & her son is my son's best friend. Our families vacation together & we spend time together on a weekly basis if not more. It will be hard for us when they leave in just a couple of weeks. However, I never questioned her decision. She has a heart for the orphans there & I know that she prayed & fasted over this decision. She gave into God & listened. She even said at one point that there was always the possibility that God would tell her not to go at the last minute, that maybe he was just testing her to see if she would respond. Of course in my human mind I was hoping this would be the case, but it looks like she will be leaving. I will always support her in her decision because I know she loves God & is doing what he has asked her to do.

So what is it like to hear from God & how does He do it? Sometimes when you pray he will flood your mind with thoughts that bring wholeness & order to your life. Thoughts that were not there just moments before that you know don't come from your human nature. Sometimes he will show you sins in your life that need confessing or wrong things you have done that need to be made right.

On occasion it has almost been audible to me. When my husband & I lived in Tampa, Florida years ago I was praying one Saturday when God simply said "Move". In that one word I knew that he meant for us to move out of Florida. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would leave there. I was born & raised there & my husband had been there since high school & we loved it.

My husband was working in Miami that week & had been out of town. When he arrived home that night from his trip I said two simple words to him, "Let's move". He said, "You mean out of Tampa...out of Florida?" I was in shock & said, "Yes, how did you know that's what I meant?" He said he had been "thinking" the same thing on his drive home that day. So we packed up & moved to Kentucky. God has never revealed to me what the specific purpose was & I may never know the reason. My husband did get saved while we were there, something he was close to doing when we lived in Florida...maybe that was it or maybe he would have become a Christian if we had stayed put, I'll never know. What I do know is that we did what God asked & maybe that was the purpose...were we willing to show Him that we would obey?

Six years later my husband became a manger within his company & we transferred to Georgia. We were happy about the move because it was further south & closer to Florida. After we moved into our new home & settled in I knew I needed to find something to do. My husband had his mangers job to keep him busy & I had nothing but time on my hands. We were a childless couple in their forties, my husband was 45 & I was 40, so I thought about looking for a job, starting a business or volunteering in charity work. So I prayed for God to give me a purpose...something special.

Two months later I found out I was pregnant. After 13 years of marriage & never being able to get pregnant I had accepted the fact that it would never happen. So you can imagine our shock! I wasn't even sure if I was happy about it at the time because I asked God, "Why?" He simply said, "There's your purpose!"

Those are examples of how God has spoken to me. However there will be times when you ask God to speak & there is nothing but silence. This is not the response we want but it doesn't mean that God is not working behind the scenes, he's just not ready to reveal it to us yet. Maybe we are not in a place to accept his answer or the timing isn't right yet for us to know. Learn to be silent before Him, focus on Him & wait. In time you will hear from Him & when you do it will astound you.

Pray this prayer: Lord, I want to learn to hear Your voice. You are the Shepherd & I am the lamb. Call me by name & speak to me. I am your servant & I am listening. In Jesus name...Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment