FROM HIS WORD (Jer. 33:1-3 NASB)
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time,
while he was still confined in the court of the guard,
saying, "Thus says the Lord who made the earth,
the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name,
'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things,
which you do not know.'"
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
So often God calls to us and moves to show us He is with us. He will speak to us, He will share His message with us, and many times, He will speak a second time to give confirmation. It is our job to pay attention. It isn't enough for us to hear Him; we have to actually listen.
INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
I have to admit something to you before starting out this devotional: I have three boys, and sometimes they will come in and tell me things about a game that they are playing that I truly do not understand. They use names and terms that go right over my head, so it would be very easy for me to just nod my head and say, "OK," as if it all made sense and let them go about their business. But I have learned that if I stop for a moment and just pay attention, I can grasp a few things they say and comment on it, so that they know I am trying to listen. It gives them value because I cared enough to listen. The games they play and are all excited about may not be that interesting to me, but it is to them. If I can just find something to repeat back to them, or use in a question to gain more insight, they are really happy. My confession is that it has taken me a while to learn this and to be able to understand the difference it makes in my conversations with them.
One other thing I will admit is that, sometimes they will come in while I am working and tell me something-- and it goes in one ear and out the other. I had to stop my middle son the other day as he was leaving the room. You see, he had come in and said something, and I replied. But I wasn't really paying attention. So as he left, I realized I didn't really know what I had just agreed to. His comment to me, when I called him back into the room to ask him to repeat the conversation we just had was, "Weren't you listening?"
What I love about the above memory verse is that the Lord's voice came to Jeremiah a second time. Jeremiah listened to God and because he did, God spoke again revealing more of Himself and His plan to Jeremiah. This makes me think about the second time the Lord "spoke" to someone else, only God's voice came in the form of a dream. In Genesis 41 God had given the Pharaoh two dreams, showing the Pharaoh what was to come. One dream was about seven cows, and the other was about seven heads of grain. Joseph was called from the prison he was in to interpret the dreams. Read with me:
- Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine (Gen 41:25-27 NIV).
- It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon (Gen 41:28-32 NIV).
My friend, God gave His message twice to Pharaoh. Though the dreams varied, they meant the same thing-- that God's answer had not changed. Look at the last verse very slowly. The message had been given to the Pharaoh in two forms showing that God was determined to do what He had said.
Do you know what? Both Joseph and Pharaoh (who didn't even believe in God) listened. And because they did, plans were made, provisions were set aside, and lives were saved. God also proved faithful to Joseph, and the two dreams He had given Joseph as a younger man were about to be fulfilled as well. (Read Genesis 37) What is interesting is that as Joseph was explaining Pharaoh's two dreams, Joseph was shedding light on his own experience as well. God had given Joseph two different dreams, both meaning the same thing, and God was determined to do what He had said to Joseph as well.
God can and will talk to us in many ways. Most of all He will talk to us from His written word-- which is why it is so important to READ the Bible-- not to just let someone tell you about the Bible. God will also confirm His Word (or message) by other avenues. He also impresses upon us (in our hearts and minds) His message; of course, He will talk to us in that "still, small voice" that comes from deep inside. You have to remember that it is His Spirit who talks to our spirit. If we are not filled with His Spirit, then we cannot hear from Him. Also, in order to keep a "clear channel" to Him, we have to watch what we fill our minds and ears with. If you really want to hear from God, then you have to make time for God and keep a clear mind in order to perceive Him. God is NOT a God of chaos, and He will not try to compete with a lot of other "noise." He will wait until we are calmer inside (even if it means He has to wake us up in the middle of the night) to speak to us. You see, He wants our attention, so He will draw us "away" in order to fellowship with us and release His message to us. Basically, He wants time with us!
When We are open to His voice, He will talk to us in many different ways in order to develop a deeper relationship with Him. He also uses these different methods to confirm what His Holy Spirit is saying to us. Remember, the Holy Spirit will only tell us what God is saying-- it is up to us to pay attention and seek God's will. He will not hide from us if we seek Him with all of our hearts. Some might find the thought of "God hiding from us" disturbing, but He really only draws back enough to encourage us to go a little further ... to lay everything else down and truly SEEK HIM so that our eyes and attention are truly drawn to Him. He does this so that we develop a real relationship with Him and not a superficial relationship with Him. So wherever you are, stop for a moment and ask God to open your ears (and your eyes) to hear Him, and then watch and LISTEN-- you might be amazed!
♥ PRAYING IN FAITH:
Father God, we come before You this morning with praise. Thank You for Your Words that You share with us. Lord, we ask You to open our ears to not only hear You but to listen. Lord, thank You for speaking to us and confirming Your messages to us. Lord, help us to hold to what You say as You show us what Your will is in our lives.
Father, I pray for this reader as I mentally place my hand in theirs and ask You to give them wisdom, insight, and revelation as to Your will for their lives. Lord, I ask You to strengthen them and help them to stand in courage and faith as You move mountains for them.
In Christ Jesus Name,
My friend, has God ever spoken to you in different forms? Are you listening?
Have a wonderful and blessed day; and may you have ears to listen!
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