A recurring theme or statement frequently heard in church and seen in Christian literature is “talk to God”, or “listen to God”. What does this mean? It’s not like we walk up on burning bushes every day and hear a voice coming from it telling us how to live our lives. If we did, would we even hang around to listen to a talking bush??? Probably not. Does God talk to people? God does in fact speak to us, very clearly in fact. You just have to listen.
The Devil Made Me Do It………
Can you remember a situation you may have been in or come across where you just knew in your mind, even for a quick split-second, what the right thing to do was but you had to think about it? It could have been as insignificant as walking by a piece of trash that you knew you should pick up and put in the garbage can, but did you?
Maybe it was driving up to a red light and seeing a homeless person holding a piece of cardboard begging for a handout. What were you thinking the minute you first saw them? Most likely your initial reaction was sympathy and compassion. But you didn’t want all the other people around you to see you giving the beggar money right….? So you just drove on.
That little voice that said “pick up that trash”, and “give that beggar a few dollars”………….guess what…….. That IS the voice of GOD!
In Revelation 3:20, God says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”. But do you recognize God when He comes knocking?
God isn’t always coming in the form of a bright white-robed angel figure or a voice from a burning bush. God is, well, GOD! He can, and will, take the form of anything he wishes. Are you ready to meet him? Are you ready to hear him?
The Angel on the Left Shoulder or The Devil on the Right?
Inevitably, when you find yourself in a situation where you know the right thing to do, there’s always, ALWAYS that other little voice saying otherwise.
In the Bible, Romans 7:15 says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”. See, you aren’t the only one who struggles with the issue of doing the right thing. Paul, arguably the most influential author of the New Testament, said it very well here in Romans 7:15. What we know we should do, we don’t, and what we know we shouldn’t do, we do.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to do those things that we know we shouldn’t be doing or to just ignore the things we know we should be doing? It is almost maddening when we just stop and think about it. In fact, most of the time, the things we do that we know we shouldn’t be doing actually take more effort and are harder to do than those things we know we should be doing in the first place! It’s insane!!
In Genesis 3:1, from the beginning of time, God said, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made………….”. Right here God tells us that satan is a deceiver. He’s telling us to be careful as satan WILL deceive us and in very crafty ways. Satan will have us doing the most insane things, as stated above in Romans 7:15, before we even realize what we’ve done.
In John 10:10, God says also that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,A)” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-26492A”> and have it to the full”.
I’m sure at some point in your life, just like me, you have at least one memory of your mother, father a coach or a teacher saying to you, “Stop and Listen”!! I know I do. But did I? Not likely.
As we mature (another way of saying “get old”), we learn that slowing down and listening to the wisdom of others can, and will, have a profound affect on the direction we take with certain decisions. In fact, as we mature and learn to just listen, we at times learn that after actually listening, our complete direction makes a 180 degree turn.
Why is this? Why does it take maturity (getting old) to make us actually stop and listen in order to gain the wisdom, the complete knowledge, about a particular situation or circumstance so we can make wiser decisions?
The truth is, we’re human. We’re all infected with this sin virus. As we get older (I mean…..mature) we begin to understand what this voice of God is. We learn to humble ourselves before this mighty and sovereign creator as we realize how small and insignificant we are as compared to Him. Pleasing Him and doing what is right in order to gain His approval becomes a priority. At least, it should.
Give In to the Impulse………..Just Once
The next time you’re in one of those situations, no matter how insignificant, just stop for a second and listen to what that voice is saying. Stop and pick up that piece of trash and put it away. Give that beggar a few dollars. Don’t put that little “extra twist” in that story just to embellish it a little. Be truthful. Take baby steps with it.
Pretty soon you’ll find that doing the right thing, whether big or small, becomes so easy that the hard things, those things you know you shouldn’t do, actually become harder and hard to do.
We do not have to wait until we’re old and gray with one foot in the grave to learn how to combat that little devil on the other shoulder.
In Proverbs 1:7, God says, “The fear of the LordA)” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-16408A”> is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdomB)” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-16408B”> and instruction”.
Acknowledging God, his sovereign existence, understanding and having faith in his love for us as individuals, and knowing and believing that His son, Jesus Christ died for us so that we can live in eternity with him after we leave this life, IS the beginning of knowledge.
Think of it like this; that little voice that was telling you to pick up that trash, and then you didn’t, and afterwards you felt just a little bad even for a second…………..what made you feel bad for that split-second? You know there’s something out there, something greater than you and all of us……… Fear Him, seek him out, invite him in, and watch the world around you change.