If God is really your friend, then you want to listen to Him. We need to hear what God really says, and not what we think He says. I can’t overemphasize how important it is to speak with one unified voice from God, who is One. This is a very critical time, not only for our country but for the entire world that needs explicit direction from God. If you tell me that you have a lot of friends on this earth, then I will ask you, “Do you enjoy listening to your friends?” Do you really want to hear what they say, or are you more interested in just hearing your own voice? True friends listen to one another. My heart aches to hear the voice of my wife, who can no longer speak because she has advanced Alzheimer’s. My ears also ache to hear the still small voice of God. I have learned a lot about listening over the years and even taught classes on how to listen in the business world and also as a Christian counselor. The first thing I noticed about most people, is that they don’t want to listen unless it’s listening to themselves. They love to hear the sound of their own voice or even the sound of their thoughts. I would say that people like this don’t have very many true friends; most of their friends are in name only. Unfortunately, this also applies to calling God your friend, when you don’t take time to listen.
Let me say upfront, that listening is an art, it takes a lot of hard work. So, if you are interested, then let’s proceed. Remember, dear children, true friends listen to one another. And if God is your friend then we must learn how to listen, to really listen. Let’s be clear, God is not a man! If we are not listening, and God knows it, then He will not speak. It is a proven fact, that man has become very good at pretending that he is listening when he is not. Man has learned how to conveniently turn off his hearing, even while smiling when he does not want to hear what the other person is saying, especially if the other person is casting insults at the speed of light or making idle threats. No, I can tell you exactly what they are doing. Instead of listening, they are thinking about their response, ready to launch it the moment they get an opening. You might be thinking, what does this have to do with listening to God? Everything! When most people enter their prayer closet, they have their opening and off they go with a laundry list of complaints, or things they need or want to see accomplished. When they do, they are not listening. They may be storming the gates of heaven, but they are not listening.
Typically what happens when a person enters his prayer closet with his laundry list, even if he ends it with a generalized plea to lead me, guide me, and speak to me, it’s only done to cover all the bases because he has not learned how to listen. So, the starting place must be, after you have emptied your laundry list, then you must empty your mind. Yes, you heard me correctly, empty your mind of everything. No, I never did say, that this would be easy! Clear your mind completely and be ready to hear His every word. This should be the same when we approach His words in the Bible. Empty your mind of all that you have been taught, along with all of your preconceived ideas, and allow God to speak to you through His words in the Bible. I can easily spend two to three hours on one verse of Scripture allowing God to speak to me before moving on to the next verse. Roll the verse over and over again in your mind blocking out anything and everything that would pull your mind away. Now coming to God completely alone without anything but a blank slate, nothing in your mind, with no preconceived ideas, and no laundry list of prayer requests may seem to be a little more difficult, but it doesn’t need to be so. For the novice, you will always need to begin by bringing the Holy Scripture with you, at least until His Word is firmly planted in your heart. The indwelling Spirit will often pull upon the Scripture bringing it to your mind, even using Scripture that you may not have looked at in years.
Now that you have completely emptied your mind of those preconceived ideas on what God is permitted to say, those ideas that must align with your own pathetic, contradicting theology, then you are ready to listen to your true friend. A word of caution is necessary at this point, God will not contradict or violate His own words in the Bible (His actual words, not your interpretation of them). So, the very important next step is, we must be willing to spend all the time necessary in silence and solitude. The ancient Christians could spend days doing this, whereas moderns have a most difficult time spending more than a half-hour and if it’s a full hour then they make a big show of it. Also, the time, choice of time, and length of time come directly from God, or you are wasting your time. The time could come in the middle of the night, or when you are getting ready for bed, or it can come when you purposely enter your prayer closet for no other reason than to hear the voice of God. It can also come when you are quietly praising and thanking the Lord for everything that He has done for you. Just be ready at any time or any place to hear that beautiful still small voice of God. How thrilling it is to hear the voice of God.
Finally, this is exactly how we should feel about hearing the voice of our true earthly friends, especially our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Unfortunately, we don’t really want to hear from them any more than we want to hear from God unless they or He says exactly what we want to hear. This is why we have so much division in the world today and it’s getting worse by the moment. The divisions keep splintering again and again into smaller groups of people who just want to hear what they have to say. They love their own little echo chambers accented by social media. There is no wonder why there are so many divorces, so many denominations, so many different hate groups, and so many demonstrations. No one wants to listen, to really listen to what the other person has to say, and this includes God, the One who created us. I have seen this many times in how people communicate on messenger or text messages. Before you ever get finished with your message the other person is already typing away, without ever taking the time to read what you had just written. Dear children, true friends want to listen to one another. Are you a true friend of God?
Until you truly learn to listen to what others say, you will miss much of what God is saying. Although God often speaks to us through the indwelling Spirit during our times of silence and solitude, He also speaks through others when they don’t even know that they are being used as God’s mouthpiece. Maybe it’s just one word spoken unbeknownst to them that will open a whole new understanding of God’s magnificent plan for your life. God has been speaking a lot lately and no one is listening. The Bible says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “Thus saith the Lord,” appears to be falling on deaf ears. We are living in perilous times when everyone is divided against one another with two old men vying to lead the country. One supposedly just speaking in gaffs, while the other one supposedly just speaking in lies. We really need to hear what God wants to say to the hearts and minds of His children, His true friends. Are you listening? Let me suggest that you review last week’s video of what God is saying to us now. The name of the video is, “To the Christians Living in America.” No matter how bad the world becomes, don’t let it affect you. You can follow all their rules as long as they don’t violate God’s beautiful commandments and still let your light shine. Yes, even through a mask. I just learned last week that our eyes shine brightly even when others can’t see our big smile and the love of God in our hearts. Dear children, stand firm and listen to hear God’s voice.
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