Friday, December 4, 2015

Listening to God's voice

Pam and I are no different than you.  There are times I just don't listen to her (her take) or hear her (my take).  Either way, I miss it.  She feels, and at times it is probably true, I allow other things to distract me and I listen to them rather than her.   She is gracious towards me, but I would save some heartache if I'd take time away from the distractions.  Listening breeds true relationship and joy.

The Christmas story reminds me of how important listening is.  Mary is shocked when an angel appears and tells her she is going to bear God's Son.  Details about Him including His name are given.  She asks a procedural question (How can I have a baby when I am a virgin?)  But she does not allow her lack of understanding to distract her.  She humbly submits to be used of the Lord and spends her life pondering amazing things in her heart.

Grotto over Mary's Home in Nazareth
Joseph was in a very difficult spot.  He had a fiancee who tells him she is pregnant but not to a man but by the power of the Holy Spirit.  That is hard to swallow.  The same angel shows up and affirms her story and gives Joseph the same details, including His name.  Joseph was not distracted by what will certainly be social ridicule and embarrassment.  He takes Mary home as his wife and does not have relations with her until after Jesus is born.  After the birth, he is told in a dream to take the child immediately and leave to preserve His life from King Herod.  Out of jealousy Herod was going to have all baby boys two years of age and younger killed.  Joseph listens and spares Jesus' life.  God pays for the trip by gifts that had been brought to them by the Magi.  Joseph listens once again when the way is clear to return home from Egypt.  But he wisely chose to head north to Nazareth rather than stay in Bethlehem.  By listening this time, it all fulfills prophecies made about the Messiah.  These obedient acts were part of the proof of who Jesus was and is.

Today I want us to be encouraged by a couple things.  First, God knows how to communicate with us.  He uses His Word, dreams, impressions and other means to do so.  The exciting thing is that He wants to communicate.

Second, it is clear from Christmas that when we stop the distractions and truly listen to the Lord, He will involve us in some of the most amazing events and opportunities.  He will protect, provide and direct.  And we will be blessed through it all.

How well do you do at listening?  Or do you allow all the noise of this world to distract you?  I encourage you this Christmas to be still, and listen, and see what He has to say to you.  You will be blessed and amazed by what you hear.

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