New Year’s Day – Time to list my dreams and plan how to get them? Not this year.
Samuel did not spend his prayer time enumerating his wish list. When God spoke to Him, Samuel’s response was “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
The key to Samuel’s prayer seems apparent to me – listening more than speaking.
Not a natural response for me.
So this “unnatural” response is my new year’s “resolution”
Resolve to listen to God first
Resolve rather than “praying” my list of needs, wants and dreams, to instead thank God for caring about my needs, wants and dreams and for promising to provide “all that I need for life and for godliness” (2Pet. 1:3: seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.)
Wow! What is that if not a succinct description of all of the desires of my heart past, present and future! To overcome self with the presence and power of Christ. To be more like Him. To make Him known through the gifts and talents He has bestowed.
I pray this year I will be sensitive to His voice:
To listen and obey so that I might fulfill HIS dreams for me! The dreams he planned for me as he designed me
before the foundations of the earth (Psalm 139). How could I possibly dream anything bigger or better than Almighty God, my creator and designer has already formulated from beginning to complete fulfillment!
To listen and then discern that I might recognize the real needs of my body, spirit, mind and soul, and allow God to fulfill and satisfy them as no material thing can do. To listen and reject life-draining choices that would keep me from completeness.
To listen and observe the blessings I’ve already received that provide the greatest satisfaction, and allow God to develop them, that in experiencing His fullness I might draw others to Him. To realize I don’t have to ask for one thing – He already knows all my needs and has prepared the solutions to every secret query.
To listen to His love talk to me, and to recognize its’ evidence in answered prayer, in provision, in peace, day after day. To recognize God’s hand in my circumstances and to write it down, so I won’t forget.
To spend my talking time of prayer thanking Him for the provisions and promises He has made, for already providing my needs, the answers to my longings and the destiny of my calling. To go to His Word first to discern His voice and His will.
I have a lot of listening to do this year.
God never speaks to us in dramatic ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?” Isaiah said that the Lord spoke to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of his circumstances (Isaiah 8:11). Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences?
Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what He said? Was it Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
. . .or was it 1Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time.