Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hearing From God – Do We?

June 2019Often – as I sit at my desk in the wee hours of the morning – waiting to hear from God – I began to put some thoughts down for a devotional or a sermon. Have you ever wondered how one would hear from God? I mean – the Scriptures are filled with people hearing from God. Some examples are in the biblical text for us. There’s Moses’ burning bush.

Exodus 3:1-5 – 1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

What I wouldn’t give for a burning bush or two once-in-a-while. Or how about an encounter with God like Jeremiah had when he was confused about his calling?

Jeremiah 1:4-10 – 4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Jesus speaks about His sheep knowing His voice. He uses the image of sheep and their shepherd.

John 10:14-15, 27 – 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. . . 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

We recognize God’s voice by being in constant and consistent contact with Him according to this analogy. The more we walk with Jesus – the more we will recognize His voice. Sheep know the shepherd’s voice because they listen to it day after day after day after day. They rely on the shepherd’s voice for food – for shelter – for safety – for life. It is an example used by King David as well.

Psalm 23:1-4 – 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

If you wish to hear God’s voice – the answer is simple – walk with Him – moment by moment.  n walking with Jesus – removing the noise of the world more and more -His voice will be made clear. This reminds me of one of my favorite TV shows – NCIS. In several episodes – Abby takes what others hear as noise – and by removing layers of the noise – a message is made clear. One episode had a little blind girl who had exceptional hearing help the team solve a case by being able to hear what they could not.

Lord – help Your church to be more myopic in seeing Your will and focused on hearing Your voice. Help us to walk with Jesus daily.

I bet some of you just knew I would end with one of my favorite passages – didn’t you?

Romans 12:1-2 – 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way!

July 17, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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