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TRUST JESUS TODAY
On my new website, I write Wed. bi-weekly teachings concerning encouragement from God's word. Here is the first article that I wrote. Let me know what you think. Thanks.
IS ANYBODY LISTENING?
“Jeff…Jeff…”, says his wife. “Jeff, are you listening”?, she impatiently questions her husband. “Huh”, Jeff responds. His wife asks, “Have you heard a word I said?” …You can imagine the rest of the conversation. You’ve heard the term selective hearing. I have that problem a lot when my wife is trying to communicate with me – or else my mind is just zoned into listening to tv dialogue or something and I’m just not paying attention. I know it gets on my wife’s nerves sometimes. She points it out to me regularly. Does this scenario describe anybody else out there? Come on…admit it.
We all want to be heard when we speak to someone. In fact, no one can really have a good conversation with another unless each person is listening to the words of the other. When you are depressed, angry, frustrated, or sad, do you pick up the phone and call your friend, mom or pastor? Do they try to listen to what you are saying and respond in some way to encourage you? When you try to borrow some money from the bank, would you like to think that the loan officer is listening to you as you explain your need? If you go to the doctor, do they listen as you describe your pain or discomfort so that they can properly diagnose you and give you effective health care?
GOD IS LISTENING
Do you believe that you can talk to God and He too will hear you when you speak to Him? I know we have never seen Him. Those of us who believe in God and His savior Jesus Christ live by faith without having ever seen our Creator (Heb. 11:1,3,6). Most of us have not heard Him verbally speak to us (although God’s voice awoke me at dawn many years ago during some intensive Bible studies to say, “I will be your heavenly light from the darkness of the night even unto the dawn of eternity”). That is the only time I can ever say that I’ve heard God’s voice. He generally speaks to our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. So how can we be sure that God hears us when we talk to Him?
…because the Bible says so!
King David is a great testimony to us in so many ways. He taught us great lessons about our communication with God.
We have the written record that he prayed to God three times a day. He stated, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalms 55:17). David prayed on a regular basis every day just like we are commanded to “pray without ceasing” today (I Thes. 5:17). He talked to God like we talk to anybody around us. But not only did he talk to God, he had the confidence that God actually heard what he said to Him. He would cry out to God with his problems and God did hear his voice.
David included passages about the power of prayer in many of his Psalms:
The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. -Psalms 6;9
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. -Psalms 34:4
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Looking at these songs of praise to God, David is teaching us that God hears and receives our prayers. When we write an email and press SEND, someone receives it on their computer. When we send our prayers up to God, He receives them as well. God hears us when we cry out to Him with our fears and He helps us overcome them. He answers by giving us peace of mind and courage – or He removes the object of our fear. God hears and answers our prayers when we call out to Him in our weaknesses and pain. He sends us strength to handle whatever circumstance we are in and gives us victory.
GOD'S SELECTIVE HEARING
But does God always hear our prayers? Does He always answer. Like many other things in life, there is a “catch”.
Yes, there is a catch to having the guarantee that God will hear and answer your prayers. Many people in the world today – and probably since the beginning of humanity – will live life their own way until a major problem comes their way. …a daughter gets in an automobile accident; a mom has cancer; a middle aged man is layed off from his long-term career; …fill in the blank. All of a sudden, some one is in the mood for praying. But can we just turn God on when we are in need and turn Him back off when the problem goes away or the desire is satisfied? We are not taught that way in the Bible.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” -I Peter 3:12
“The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” -Proverbs 15:29
You see, even God has selective hearing! If you are not living in righteousness, you are going to have a hard time getting God’s attention. God hears the prayers of the righteous but He is so much against those who do evil that He turns a deaf ear to them. “God, …God, …do you hear me?” Probably not if you are not in a right relationship with Him. This may sound hard, but it is God’s truth.
It is powerful to know that God indeed hears our prayers if we are righteous. We can know that God cares about our needs and is ready to listen and react to our communication with Him. But it is regretful to person that is living outside the will of God to know he has little hope of drawing God’s attention to his pleas for help in a time of need.
GET RIGHTEOUS-GET HEARD
So then – get righteous. But how? Righteousness is not what we do. Righteousness is who we are! Righteousness is a right standing with God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not doing right things to earn God’s favor.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them
that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, …” – Romans 3:22-26
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” - Philippians 3:9
We are made righteous only by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. It is the cleansing power of Jesus blood that makes us righteous before God, not our good works. We do good works because we are righteous already – not to become righteous. So get right with God through faith in Christ alone and God’s ears will be open to your prayers.
GOD'S WILL BE DONE
Another catch is that what we are asking is in line with God’s will for our lives. God will listen to our prayers and He actually always answers – Yes! …No! or …Wait! He’s just like our earthly parents. They hear us when we ask for something, but if it’s against their will, the say, NO!! We just have to learn not to be spoiled brats with God and not expect to get everything that we want.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the
petitions that we desired of him. -I John 5:14,15
So if you are a righteous person, be encouraged that God hears and answers prayer. He wants
to help you, guide you, give you joy, peace, hope, purpose, and victory – whatever it is that you are seeking from Him. There is so much that God is willing to give to us. We just need to be like David and have a consistent daily prayer life. God will “…do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20).
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