“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
– Jesus Christ (John 10:27)
One of the things I am most grateful for in my life is prayer. How awesome is it that Jesus sent His Holy Spirit that indwells us and counsels us. It never ceases to amaze me how we have the ability to communicate with our Lord and Savior. The Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty, all knowing King of Kings, is willing to listen to us and speak to us! I love being able to talk to God and I love that He answers me. I love how He guides me and tells me His will. I love how I can ask Him what I should do, and how I can trust Him. It saddens me to hear and learn that so many of His children and followers never take the time to have a two way conversation with our Lord. I have caught myself doing it on many occasions. I sometimes will treat prayer like a to do list. I tell God how I feel, repent, ask for help, and ask for the salvation and blessings of others. I pray for family and friends asking for them to be saved and yet sometimes I forget to slow down and ask God what He would have me do in the situations I am praying about and then wait to listen patiently for His response. I have rushed through prayer and haven’t taken the time to listen. I can tell you every time that I have listened and waited for God’s direction, I have been far better off. I know this, yet still need to remind myself to do it.
Often time prayer is rushed through. We spend way too much time talking and not enough time listening. James 1:19 tells us, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”. This is good advice for every relationship in our life. Yet, we only seem to try and apply it to our families, neighbors, and others we encounter. We also should be quick to hear and listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting us. We need to be quick to hear the response to our prayers, quick to hear the correction from God, and quick to hear Him tell us how much we are loved. We need to be slow to speak and think about what we are saying and committing to. We need to be quick to listen to the prompting of God and respond how He leads.
I have heard very often from others, “I can’t hear from God”. The truth is we all can. Yes, it is easier for some than others just like anything. But, we all can hear. Jesus told us this in John 10:27. If you are His sheep, then you hear His voice and then follow Him. It does not happen instantly or when we want it to. It takes time and practice to hear him and recognise his voice. When someone new joins our church family, do you instantly recognise their voice in the sanctuary when you’re not looking at them? No, of course not. But I bet after a year of them regularly being in fellowship with you, then you could recognise who was talking behind you without turning around. The same applies to the Lord. The more time you spend with Him, listening to Him, and getting to know Him, the more quickly you will recognise when He is speaking to you.
One way to tell if something is from the Lord is when you feel peace and are left with peace. Jesus tells us in John 14:27 that He gives us and leaves us with peace. Isaiah 55:12 tells us that we will be led forth in peace. God leads us and shows us what to do by giving us peace and leading us with peace in situations and decisions. Do not confuse peace with comfort. Often He tells us to do things that are uncomfortable, and yet He will give us peace about doing it and knowing it’s right in our uncomfortableness. Many times I have been uncomfortable in doing what God has told me to do, yet I have peace knowing it is Him and that I can trust Him. When God told me to leave my old church and come to CBCC, I was very uncomfortable. I did not want to leave. I loved my church family and am uncomfortable meeting new people. However, I had total peace about doing it and I knew it was the right thing to do. I am so glad I listened! I never thought I could love and fit into a family more but I totally do. I have learned so much about true friendship at CBCC and can see the true love of God pouring out through so many. I will be eternally grateful for the Lord telling me to come here. Also, we can tell it is God leading us or talking to us or showing us something when it’s not a thought or action we would normally have on our own.
““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.”
– Isaiah 55:8
When a thought pops into your mind that you think “Where did that come from?” because you know it’s not something you would naturally think, it could be the Lord. Of course we always want to make sure what we are hearing lines up with the word of God.
I pray that all of us will grow to hear the Lord more clearly and more often and that we become more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I pray that we would all be quick to hear and slow to speak. I pray that we would all trust and obey as we hear the Lord speaking to us, counseling us, and leading us.
Written by Rebecca Murzin