Greetings, Friends. Yes, the 2016 election is now history. Amazingly enough, also very historical. Franklin Graham led the charge to prayer with the 2016 Decision America Tour. We saw hundreds of thousands of men, women, boys and girls of all ages and races join hands and hearts to pray for our nation. We must keep on praying. We cannot give up praying for ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our leaders. We must learn to be good listeners for God’s voice. This happens only when we give Him time and attention. During the Thanksgiving vacation, you might have a bit of extra time for God. Don’t waste it. Here are four things we can do:
1. Push away from distractions and lean in to discipline.
Today’s complex lifestyle offers the opposite to listening. It is our deadly enemy. We must determine what specific things are our individual distractions. We can choose to keep our eyes focused and minds set on the things above. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Prov. 12:1
2. Jealously guard your time with your Heavenly Father.
Because of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a new heart, a new life, a new identity. The world’s deception makes us feel like we are missing out on something. We wonder if God is holding out on us. “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov. 4:20-23
3. Develop a sense of awe and reverence for God.
“Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast or beyond human scale, that transcends our current understanding of things,” says psychologist and Project Awe manager, Dacher Keltner (Parade Magazine, 10/9/2016).
Human beings are made to worship our Heavenly Creator. We are created by God, for fellowship with God. “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart, I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1
4. Prefer silence.
Go to a place you can be alone with God. There should be no sound at all – no people talking, dogs barking, TV, radio, CD or DVD. If you need to, you can use earplugs. That’s right, there should be no audible sound at all to distract you from listening to God with your ears or your soul. Ask Him to meet you and speak to you through His Word. “I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.” Hab. 2:1
It takes time, planning and perseverance to strengthen a keen ear for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. As we prepare ourselves to listen by focusing intently, jealously guarding and adapting a stance of awe and wonder of God, we have prepared for silence. Once we do these things on a regular basis, we will hear His voice even in crowds. Listening to God is a difficult skill to master, but the results will be satisfying, gratifying and will meet our deepest longings. “Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Not only will our deepest longings be met, but the results will be out of this world. “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:2
What are you waiting for?
To find out more about Sheryl Giesbrecht’s blog posts, books, music and free resources, go to FromAshesToBeauty.com.