Pray For One Hour 11

Matthew 26:40-41, “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

XI. Pray for one hour – Listening:  Receive spiritual instruction.  Ecclesiasates 5:2, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:  for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:  therefore let thy words be few.”

I have noticed a trend in so-called Christianity.  I hear people praying and telling God what to do.  Really?  What gives you and I the right to tell Holy God what to do?  Nothing!  What we need to be doing is keep our mouth shut and our ears tuned into Him.  This is called listening.  It is a lost art today.  I know I am guilty of not listening.  We hear someone tell something and we immediately want to tell them how to fix it.  In the right place there is nothing wrong with this.  When it comes to time with God it is wrong.  We need to be listening for God to give us His orders.   He is our Commander in Chief.  He is our King of kings and LORD of lords.  We take orders from Him.  We need to be silent before Him and listen for Him to speak to us.

So, how are you doing?

Reason With Him

I have heard the sad phrase over and over in twenty plus years of ministry, “You cannot reason with him/her.”  You might speak with my wife and receive a real life lesson on this subject.

There have been many times in my life that I have been less than reasonable, and I know it.  There is nothing I can do about it now apart from making apologies and doing the best I can with God helping me to make it right and not repeat it.

This hardness of head is caused my various things.  Maybe, it is due to one party being hard of hearing.  You cannot reason with someone who will not hear you.  There is a difference between listening and hearing.  We can listen and get the gist of what we think the other person is saying.  It is kind of like the person watching the television and the other person trying to talk to them at the same time.  If you do not have their undivided attention then they are more than likely just listening and barely at that.

Now, to hear someone we must make eye contact.  Remember, I am talking about hearing to the point of understanding.  Now we are hitting pay dirt.  If I am going to hear what someone is saying to me then I must block out the outside distractions and I have to focus on what they are saying.  In the field of counseling I believe they call this “active listening”.  I call it hearing.

The Word of God has some important words on the subject of hearing, listening and reasoning.  Look at Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Now, this is not bring your opinionated opinions and try to change God’s mind.  Wrong!  It is His offering to us the opportunity to come and be with Him and learn His ways.  Our world today could stand to do this in depth.  Turn off the comfort of noise and listen to Him and let Him convince you of the truth.

So, how are you doing?

The Voice

I grew up on the farm which gave me many opportunities that kids today just do not get.  I remember my uncle and I rented ground from an older man.  He had many sheep.  I was always fascinated by these sheep.  I wish I knew then what I know now about sheep.

There was one thing.  They did not care about me.  I would repeatedly go out and try to call them in.  Sometimes I would walk around with John (their owner) and pump water for them to drink.  I loved to do this.  These sheep came running when John was out there.  When I was out there alone they went the other way.

The problem was they did not know my voice.  They did not know me.  I was a total stranger to them and they had enough sense to stay away from me.  I know that sheep are not smart animals; but, in this case they had enough sense to keep away from me.  I thought about  Song of Solomon 2:8, “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.”

“The voice of my beloved!”  I love this phrase.  Who are you listening to?  You cannot be going here and there listening to various different voices because it will result in deep confusion.  Cults are birthed out of confusion.  The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion.  So, why confuse yourself by going here, there and yonder getting counsel when everything you need is in God’s Word.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 7

We have all heard the story of the husband who wanted to take his wife to the doctor because he thought she was experiencing hearing loss.  As the joke goes, it is he who has hearing loss.  The husband asks, “Is dinner ready yet Honey?”  The voice of an exasperated wife comes from the kitchen, “For the third time I said yes!”

Far too many people are not listening today.  They hear their music devices of all kinds or whatever they want to; but, for the most part people do not listen for God to speak to them.  Look at Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”  Notice the first phrase, “When Herod the king had heard these things;”.

What things had Herod the king heard?  He had heard of the birth of Jesus the King.  The problem is that he totally misunderstood the truth about Jesus.  He saw Jesus as a Competitor.  Herod feared that Jesus would gain a following that would overtake him and strip the kingdom from him.

Many people today are misunderstanding the true message of Jesus.  Jesus came to save us from sin.  He did not come to give us a list of do and don’t do.  He came first to the Jews and after their rejection He came to the Gentiles (you and I).  He came to deliver you and I from sin.  Will you trust Him today?  I wish you would.

So, how are you doing?

How To Hear From The Father 1

Yesterday I introduced the topic of how to listen to the voice of our Heavenly Father.  Today I would like to continue that thought.  Again we go to John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

If we are going to hear the voice of our Heavenly Father we must get alone.  Today we have all kind of electronic devices with ear phones, ear buds, headphones and the like.  We need to shut this junk off and listen for the voice of the Heavenly Father.  It is no wonder that our world in in a downward tailspin.  For the most part people are listening to the news paper, the horoscopes and God forbid Dear Abby.

Jesus set the example for us in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”  Jesus did two very important things here.  First of all He got up early.  Secondly He went somewhere that was solitary.  He got alone with the Father early in the morning.  It was quality time and quantity time.

Jesus also tells us how to accomplish this in Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”  We desperately need to get alone with God and listen to Him.

So, how are you doing?

How To Hear From the Father

As I was working on some messages for this coming week of being a candidate at two different Churches God impressed upon me the truth of listening to Him.  This is essential if we are going to discern His will in these situations.

He first reminded me of John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”  Growing up on the farm we dove cattle different places based upon our needs.  The sheep were led and never driven.  Trying to drive sheep is like trying to nail jello to the wall.  Impossible!

When leading the sheep they will respond to the master’s voice and not a stranger.  This is good counsel for you and I.  We need to listen to the voice of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.  Everyone else is just noise.

The next time you are in need of counsel maybe you should take time and listen for the voice of the Father and get your guidance that way.

So, how are you doing?