Morning Reflection 2/10/12

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http://bible.us/Ps85.8.NLT

I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.

Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!

::

While it might be easy to hear, it certainly isn’t easy to listen. There have been times I’ve heard what someone was saying, but I wasn’t really listening. Maybe I was thinking about something else, or perhaps even preparing my rebuttal. Either way, I wasn’t listening to what was being said.

The Psalmist says that he listens carefully to what God is saying because God speaks peace to his faithful people. Wouldn’t it be great to go throughout the day with peace; not just the absence of strife, or stress, but peace that passes understanding. This is the type of peace we discover when our lives are centered in God through Jesus. In Jesus, love and truth have come together. In him, righteousness and peace have kissed!

Perhaps today is a good day to make a choice to not only hear, but to also listen deeply to God, because he is speaking. Through prayer and scripture we place ourselves in position where we can listen as he speaks peace into our lives. May you discover the peace of God as you listen carefully today.

In Control

I read something from either St. John of The Cross or St. Teresa of Avila (sorry, I can’t find the reference) that asked the question: why would God speak to us when we are not neccesarily willing to obey? It is a great question that shows deep insight.

While I was reflecting on this I began wondering why we even want to hear from God when we aren’t willing (or ready) to obey? After all, it seems like we all want to hear from God. Even some of the songs we sing ask God to speak. So when God does speak, are we _always_ willing to listen? to obey? to follow? If not, then why not? We are the ones wanting to “hear from God.” Why in the world would we be hesitant to obey once God does speak…no matter what God asks or says?

I think the issue is control. We do want to hear from God, but we want to reserve the right to obey or not obey. We want to hear that God loves us and all, but if God calls us to give and/or go we want to decide if we will obey and follow. If God calls us to go where we don’t want to go, or give what we don’t want to give, we want to make the ultimate decision. Deep down we know that we can and may say “no.”

So, back to the original question; If we know that we are reserving the right to obey or not obey whenever God speaks, why should God speak at all? Does God really just want to be one option out of many in our lives? I doubt it. (I could say something about viewing God as some type of advice columnist, but I won’t).

Yet, God shows us how gracious he is because he continues to speak to us even when all parties involved know it all might fall on deaf ears. God continues to invite us deeper.

When I am willing to follow, no matter what, I ┬ábecome more receptive and I sense God speaking into my life more. I find that God is able to lead and guide me. This is also what I see in the lives of faithful men and women of God throughout history. They heard from God, because they were willing to follow. The issue isn’t that God doesn’t want to speak to us, the issue is we really don’t want to hear. Those who are willing to hear, obey, and follow, they are the ones who find God continuing to speak into their lives. The result is they are able to truly become who God has created them to be, because they are allowing God to lead and guide them.

If you desire to hear from God, perhaps the first step is to trust God and be willing to follow once you do hear.