Tag Archives: listening for God

Hosea 9-11; Revelation 2

The readings speak of a love turned tepid.

“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:2-4, NLT.

At the end of a year, I’m still running–to keep up with a course load, to school my kids, to manage a house and other responsibilities, to serve at church, to cultivate friendships, and on and on. A lot of my days are just focused on a moment. I try not to look too far ahead, or linger too far back.

There are words of sexual sin and food of idols, of wrong teaching on one side of the scale, and words acknowledging hard work, endurance, suffering, and faithfulness on the other side. A warning to listen.

I know I’ve been so busy at times it seems like I don’t slow enough to listen long enough to hear. Yesterday, I sat in a heap on the floor and prayed–and not the kind of prayer while I dry my hair and pack up books and rush out the door. I just sat–and realized then it had been a long time since I was so still before you.

“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
    How can I let you go?
How can I destroy you like Admah
    or demolish you like Zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me,
    and my compassion overflows.
No, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
    I will not completely destroy Israel,
for I am God and not a mere mortal.
    I am the Holy One living among you,
    and I will not come to destroy.
10 For someday the people will follow me.
    I, the Lord, will roar like a lion.
And when I roar,
    my people will return trembling from the west.
11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt.
    Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria.
And I will bring them home again,”
    says the Lord. Hosea 11:8-11, NLT.

He is the Holy One living among (us).

Lord, I want to abide in your presence and listen to you. Whatever idols fight for first place in my life, show them to me. I fool myself thinking that all this busyness is living–I miss you. Help me to be fully present and intentional in my time with you and with others.

Courtney (66books365)

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Leviticus 24-25; Mark 1:23-45

I couldn’t hear God. I had gone to him, rushed and under pressure–sending out SOS prayer.

“God, I can’t hear you. What should I do?”

If I was lucky, I’d get the prayer out in one coherent sentence. Hardly waiting for the response. More often than not, it was a started prayer, interrupted by whatever demands straining for my attention.

“God, I have to give a reply soon. What should I say?”

I had a deadline approaching and an answer to give. I didn’t know what to choose, and my mind was overrun with my own thoughts of possibilities. I felt a little panicked. A little uncertain. A lot of desperate to hear from God. So I started setting up terms.

“Ok, God, how about this: if it’s yes, then how about I hear it loud and clear. Like from a separate source. Or if it’s no, you could do some highly unexpected miracle like (this).”

Still no response. I ended up moving forward in uncertainty. In fact, after my response, I felt a sickening second-guessing.

God, I didn’t hear from you. So I just moved forward because you didn’t tell me not to.

But as I think on it now, after reading about how Jesus spent time in prayer, I see that I was trying to get God to fit into my busy schedule.

35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39 NLT.

Everyone was looking for Jesus. He had things to do. But instead of grabbing prayer like a mid-meal snack, he sat down before his Father to be in relationship with him. No quick, abbreviated text-talk. He made his time in prayer a priority before his lengthy list of to do.

Lord, I didn’t hear your voice. And maybe it’s because I was too rushed with my day-to-day to stop and listen for it. Maybe it was because I was so busy listening to myself and my list of worries and what-ifs. Lesson learned. I think I might have heard you if I had taken the time to listen, instead of trying to have you fit yourself into my days and thoughts. I see now you wanted more for me–that time together, so I would be able to move on with peace and confidence–in you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 3-5; Matthew 2

The serpent persuaded her with words. (Her eyes sealed the deal with want.)

The following verses are like stepping stones leading down a path. The Lord speaks, and there is choice. Listen, or don’t.

He cares. He warns. He commands. Those who listen show wisdom–those who don’t believe to be wise in their own eyes.

  • So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 ESV.
  • 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:11 ESV.
  • but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:5-7
  • 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24 ESV
  • 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:12 ESV
  • 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt … Matthew 2:13-14 ESV
  • 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go …” Matthew 2:19-22 ESV

Lord, You speak still. I want to be like Enoch and walk with You. I want to know Your voice (to hear it and heed it), and not be persuaded and deceived by unsteady and changing influences of a culture (or even my very own whims). I pray to draw even closer to You through Your Word this year.

Courtney (66books365)

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Lev. 25; Ps. 32; Eccles. 8; 2 Tim. 4

I’ll never forget going to summer church camp as a child and going on the horse trails.  Younger years there was a trainer who led as you rode, and I longed for the day when I could take the reins and ride ALONE.  Well, that year finally came and I was so excited and jumped up on my horse, named LUCKY, and I began to trot off.  I tried to turn the horse left, he wanted to go right. When I made attempts to slow down, he sped up going off the course causing the saddle to come loose and me to fall off.  Thankfully the only injury was my ego! Someone retrieved Lucky and helped me back on, showing me  the proper way to lead him.  When the trail ended, we were handing the horses to the next riders and I handed over the reins and said, “If you are as lucky as I was on Lucky, then you will definitely be taught a thing or two!”

In Psalms 32:8-9 it says: “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

My horse had a bit and bridle, but it was me who was out of control with my thinking–requiring a spiritual bit and bridle to be put upon me to keep my pride in order. I love how we are promised that God will guide us along every pathway and watch over us. He does not need us to plan our own routes and hold tightly to the reins.

Life-changing moments stand out: the horse’s saddle, and the old, wooden, splintery pew in an outdoor open chapel service at the camp that same week.  For that is where I released the control of the reins of my life and heart over to the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 8:17 “This reminded me that no one can discover everything God has created in our world, no matter how hard they work at it.  Not even the wisest people know everything, even if they say they do!”

Lord, I ask that when I start to believe that I have it all under control and know everything, I pray that you knock me off the saddle again and help me to willingly hand back the reins and give you the control of my thoughts, actions, words and paths I take in life.

Leviticus 25:20-21 “But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?” “I will order my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a bumper crop, enough to support you for three years.”

BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS OVERFLOWING! He doesn’t owe me an answer, but I’m thankful that He always does give one IN HIS TIMING and I’m working harder each day at having more  faith that when He says GO LEFT I will GO LEFT, even if I really  think going right would be better! Sitting down in a seat of Faith will provide for me a better pathway paved!

2 Timothy 4:3-5 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.  They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.  But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.  Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ.  Complete the ministry God has given you.”

I’m thankful for what I have been given and pray that I use it properly to help LEAD others to Christ!

Erica (guest on 66 Books)

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