Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 19, 2019
I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him. Psalm 85:8
One of the most remarkable aspects of life itself is that God Almighty, creator and sustainer of the universe, can be known by his creation and is faithful to speak life and peace over us. In fact, as John 1:1 reminds us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Before time began, God was Word, speaking and creating and moving, a perfect community of love. It is the communication of God, we could say, that speaks life itself into existence. And what was true then is absolutely true now. God is speaking. The question before us is straightforward and clear: are we listening?
I have been convicted time and time again of how frequently my prayer life is a one sided monologue, typically consisting of me offering up a list of needs and petitions, hoping God is ready and willing to act at a moment’s notice. Yet this is not true prayer. Prayer in the purest sense is a conversation with God. Yes, this will surely involve petition and sharing of our needs (see Philippians 4:6), but it should include as much (if not more) time in stillness and quiet, learning to patiently wait upon the Lord, asking him to speak his peace deep within our hearts.
Sustained attentiveness to God is one of the hardest things for us to do, largely because it is a discipline that has been long neglected in our lives and culture, and as such has become a weak and unused muscle. We live in the era of sound bites and social media, consuming an endless stream of content without ever pausing to reflect upon it or weigh its merits or significance. As soon as we see it, we double tap to like and quickly swipe on the next thing! While this may be fine for online habits, this is not a recipe to follow for a deep and substantial life with God!
Turning your heart to God, as the psalmist encourages us to do, requires intentional and deliberate choices that affect both our will and our actions. We can’t simply say we want to pursue God and be close to him. We must also act upon this desire and create intentional habits of prayer, Scripture reading, and community that will all foster a renewed attentiveness to the still, small voice of the LORD.
God is faithful in each and every generation to speak his life and his peace. May he give us the courage to still our hearts and learn to truly listen.
Father, thank you for the peace and love that we know through Jesus Christ our Lord. Quiet our hearts and free us from distraction so we can hear and receive that peace afresh. Amen.
What is the greatest distraction in your life that keeps you from hearing God’s voice?
Prayer in the purest sense is a conversation with God #wisdomhunters #prayer
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