Friday, March 15, 2013

Count on God to Hear Your Prayers

Listen to God as He Listens to You   


‘My God will hear me’ is a promise made in Micah 7:7b.  I love that. My God will hear me.  This is so wonderful that it is almost incomprehensible.  One could get carried away with a continual string of requests.  There is certainly no problem or request too small to bring to God’s attention.  He wants to be involved in every moment of your life.  However, what we want to remember is good manners.  If God is listening to us, shouldn’t we listen to God?  Or, let’s make it more personal.  If God is hearing ME when I pray, shouldn’t I hear God when He communicates with me?

 You have undoubtedly been in close contact with at least a few people in your life who have an ability to ‘talk your ear off’ while having no ability to hear a word you say.  Encounters with these people are not pleasant.  It is only good manners to listen to what other people are saying as well as talk yourself.  In a private conversation between two people, both people should be able to not only speak but to be listened to by the other person as well.  It is an overwhelmingly wonderful blessing that God will hear His children when they pray.  It is an equally overwhelmingly wonderful blessing that God speaks to His children.  It would be wise to try to listen to what He has to say!

 How then do we ‘hear’ God?

 The first way is obvious.  We read what is written down in the Bible. The Bible is written specifically for every individual Christian, and through it God speaks directly to each of His children.  It is speaking directly to you personally, as well as to me personally.  We have been given rules of conduct by which we are to live in the word of God.  We have the commandments.  We have the love one another clause.  We have the forgive one another clause.  We have the treat others the way we want to be treated clause.  These things are definitely God speaking directly to every individual believer.  Once we hear what the Bible says, we are to do what the Bible says.  This is all very straight forward and easy to understand.  If we really hear what God speaks to us, then we will follow His instructions.  After all, we want God to hear us and do the things we ask.  How rude to ignore the things He asks of us. (It is also plumb stupid.)  Those wanting God’s full attention when praying should rightly give God their full attention when He speaks.

 Hear the Lord when He says in Psalm 119:11, ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.’ 

 Also remember James 1:22 which instructs to not only hear the word of the Lord, but to do the things we are instructed to do.  It says, ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’   There is a stern warning in that verse.  If someone calls themselves a Christian but is able to continually habitually set aside the things God says to do, perhaps they are deceiving themselves regarding their faith.

 What then is a ‘doer of the word’ supposed to do?  We have instructions in Micah 6:8 which says, ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’

 A similar verse of instruction is in Deuteronomy 10:12 which says, ‘And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,’.

 God is not first looking to see how many souls His children point toward Him.  He is looking to see how well each one of His children obeys Him.  If God’s children aren’t conforming to His image, how are they going to point others to Him?  Conforming to the image of Christ is progressive.  No one is converted one day and a mature Christian the next day.  However true converts begin the life long process of being more Christ-like in their actions as soon as they are born again.  They should want to tell others about Jesus and the way of salvation.  However, the true mark of a believer is that they do the things Christ says to do regarding their own personal actions.

 God also speaks to you through your conscience.  There are things you know to be wrong.  Don’t do them.  How simple is that?  Something to think about is that if you want to do something, but you know it will not lead you closer to God, then you should not do it.  For instance, that beautiful singing voice God gave Melodye Smith may get her an offer to travel and sing with a country band.  Melodye knows the band plays in nightclubs and bars.  She really wants to do accept the offer.  But, she has misgivings.  She KNOWS her Christian life will suffer.  More money than she now earns is offered.  Melodye is tempted.  What do you think she should do?  Based on the simple truth that she will not be led closer to the Lord by accepting the offer, Melodye should turn down the offer. 

 That is obviously a fanciful example, but people face choices every day.  Often the issue is clouded by ‘more money’ or ‘more prestige’, but the question is still the same.  Will this hinder my Christian walk?  Listen to your conscience.  If it is telling you ‘not a good idea’, listen!

 Remember that God will NEVER EVER lead you to go outside the boundaries He has set for all His children.  The most important thing a child of God can do is to be obedient to God.  Through obedience His children have an avenue to a life that is blessed by God.  The boundaries set by God are for the protection of His children.  They are not for set up to cause us grief.  Jesus says his yoke is easy and His burden is light.  I just love that passage.  Matthew 11: 28-30 tells us, ’(28)  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

(29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(30)  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

 Any child of God who would like to lighten his or her own burden should begin with obedience to God. 

It is by faith that we know ‘My God will hear me’.

It is by faith that we know God will help us to hear Him.

What we do with what we hear is the measure of our Christian walk. 

 It is absolutely true that our salvation is received by grace through faith.  (Ephesians 2:8

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’.)

 But to show evidence or verification of salvation, then look to the works of your own self.  This is NOT to look to see if you have completed some mighty deed that attracts the attention of the world.  But rather look inside yourself. 

Have you hidden God’s word in your heart?

Are you a doer of the word as explained in Micah 6:8 and Deuteronomy 10:12?

Strive to become a ‘Bible driven Christian’ – someone who hears what the Lord has to say.

 Come Unto Me
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comeunto.htm 

Hear the bless├Ęd Savior calling the oppressed,
 “O ye heavy laden, come to Me and rest.
 Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear,
 Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care.”

 Refrain 

Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
 Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blessed.
 I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might.
 Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.

Are you disappointed, wandering here and there,
 Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?
 Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast?
 Bring your case to Jesus—He will give you rest

Refrain

Stumbling on the mountains dark with sin and shame,
 Stumbling toward the pit of hell’s consuming flame.
 By the powers of sin deluded and oppressed,
 Hear the tender Shepherd, “Come to Me and rest.”

Refrain

Have you by temptation often conquered been,
 Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?
 Christ will sanctify you, if you’ll claim His best.
 In the Holy Spirit, He will give you rest.

Refrain