Sermons
Pastor: Marcia J. Buckley

                                                                                 Learning to listen to Jesus
 

Jeremiah 13:11: For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

It is said that listening is the biggest part of communication. We effectively connect with others, if we comprehend what they are saying. So, how about connecting with the Lord? Think about it!

We talk a lot about prayer, as we should. But, what is prayer, but communication with the Lord? And shouldn’t we listen to Him in our prayers?

Consider the condition of Israel in Jeremiah’s day. As a result of Israel’s’ rebellious disease, God told Jeremiah to get a linen girdle and to put it on his loins (or waist) and not allow it to get wet. He was to go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole of the rock. And after many days, Jeremiah was to go back and retrieve the girdle. When he did, he found it to be marred and blemished. God then told Jeremiah that this was a symbol of how He was going to mar the pride of Judah and Jerusalem. Why? Because they refused to hear God! They had walked in the imagination of their whole heart; they walked after, served and worshipped other gods.


What kinds of things can we do to help us to be better listeners to the Holy Spirit?


#1. Realize that God is not hard to listen to! Jesus is a gentle savior.


In 1 Kings 19, Elijah slew the prophets of Baal, and King Ahab told his wicked wife, Jezebel. She wanted Elijah dead because of what he had done, even though Elijah was simply doing what God told him to do. Elijah fled for his life into the wilderness, sat down under a juniper tree and asked God to take him home. While Elijah was snoozing, an angel woke him up and told him to eat a meal already prepared for him. He ate twice and went into the strength of that meal for 40 days!


Elijah goes to Horeb, the mount of God, and went into a cave. Verse 9: And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the
mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


Elijah was shocked!! What was God doing? God was showing Elijah that He is a gentle God, easily approachable. It was in that still small voice that God gave Elijah clear and specific directions. Sometimes we think that it is the grand production that produces the voice of God, but that is not the Voice of God that is most often heard in quiet humility.


#2. Give God complete control of our lives


Why don’t people listen to each other? They don’t want to give up any of their own personal control. We humans can be so insecure and afraid; we think just because we listen to somebody that we have to agree with everything they say. But, when it comes to God, it’s a different story, because God is always right. Yet at the same time, God is far more flexible and full of variety than most people!
People struggle to listen to God because they are afraid He will say something they don’t want to hear.

 

# 3. Practice listening and put ourselves in a daily position to listen to God

Some of the greatest people of prayer I know are people who take time to listen to God. They realize that this is just as vital as talking to Him.

 

Closing
God wants to protect us from spiritual deafness!
There is a type of deafness known to physicians in which affected person is able to hear everything, except words. The ears of such a person are so perfect that the tick of a watch or the song of a bird is really appreciated. But owing to an injury deeper than the ears, for it is in the brain itself, that all of the spoken words of his mother tongue are as unintelligible to the sufferer as those of a foreign language. Give this person a book and he may read as understandably as ever. But every word addressed to him through his ears reaches his consciousness only as a sound, not as a word.
Let us pray that spiritual deafness would not plague God’s people in these last days. Teach us Lord to listen to You each and every day, so that we might find the fellowship and direction that we all desire in our lives. In Jesus Name! Amen.

   September 2019   
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