I WILL LISTEN
We tend to be people who gravitate to be quick to speak and slow to listen. We naturally want to share what we are thinking and feeling, and struggle to stop to pay attention to what is going on around us. However, there are times that we are forced to listen. When someone gets a bad report from a doctor, they are forced to listen for the remedy or treatment. When someone is fearful about a task, they are forced to listen to instructions. When someone is lost in an unfamiliar area (before GPS) they are forced to listen to the directions.
So my question today is, are we ready to listen to God? Has enough turmoil come to our nation to get our attention? Are we ready to quiet our hearts and ask God what he might be saying to us both individually and collectively as a people?
Psalm 85 was written when the people of Israel were in a time of suffering; most likely after they were coming out of captivity in Babylon. They were remembering how God delivered his people in the past and completely covered their sin. Then they said:
“Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation.” I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly.’ – Psalms 85:4-8
God is faithful to restore us, but we must Listen to God. As a nation we need restoration, but it will come as people of God open our ears to listen. I want to encourage us to allow this season of turmoil to be a time a listening.
Listen to God’s Hope
We must remember the faithfulness of God. The writer of Psalms 85 remembered all the times God forgave and delivered his people. He called out for God to show his unfailing love and was calling out for salvation. Why? Because these were reminders and reasons to have hope. Psalms 85:9 it says, “Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him.” Will you stop and listen to God’s hope for you in this time?
Listen to God’s Peace
“I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people” (vs 8). One word from God is all we need for peace to come into our hearts and souls. The promise of peace in verse 8 is just one example of countless testimonies in God’s word of people who found peace in God when they listened to him (See Isaiah 26:3-4). Because he is our creator, because Jesus is the Author of Life (Acts 3:15) just to hear his voice resettles us and brings peace to us again. Will you stop and listen to God’s Peace for you?
Listen to God’s Instruction
When we have hope and peace, we are liberated to follow God’s will and instruction for our life. ”I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly.” We are called to be God’s servants, we are called to ask him, “what would you have of me today?” God has a higher calling for us besides walking in folly or sin. Run from the temptation of sin, instead say, “I will listen” to the instructions and guidance you are giving me today.
I want to encourage you to quiet yourself before the Lord today, it’s a difficult task in 2020. Don’t let every waking moment be filled with people, work, devices, or screens. Put those things down, get some alone time and be quiet before God to listen to what he is saying. How much worse does it have to get until we listen to what he is saying? May it not be true to us, may we say, “I will listen to what God the Lord says.”