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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

Listening to the Voice of God
Date Posted: January 24, 2023

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. - Psalm 77:11-12

We instinctively know that listening is an important marital skill. In an unsuccessful marriage, both individuals are constantly talking “at” each other. They announce their needs, their desires and complaints when they should be sharing their needs. To share means there must be some listening going on. Listening is also necessary in our devotional lives. We need to set aside time when we listen TO God and FOR God. We like to complain to God, but we rarely set aside time to listen to God’s complaints.

Just read through Jeremiah, Amos or Habakkuk and you’ll hear some of them. We often are so busy telling God we love Him that we fail to hear Him telling us He loves us! We listen so rarely that we may not even recognize His voice when we hear it!

An old tzaddik often meditated under a beautiful tree in the woods. A young man, seeking to become a righteous man himself, approached the tzaddik one day. “Tell me sir, why meditate here instead of in the church or at home?”

The elder answered, “I am listening to the voice of God. Come. Sit. Listen.”

So the young man sat and listened. At first he heard nothing. But then, in the sound of the wind and the rustling of the branches his heart began to hear the whisperings of God’s desire to bring peace. He heard the birds sing of God’s great joy when his prodigal children returned to Him. Day after day he learned as he sat and listened next to the old holy man.

But one day the tzaddik was not in his usual place. In fact, he was not there for several days and so his disciple went looking for him. After weeks of searching, he found his mentor meditating near a busy intersection in the middle of a large city. The disciple was confused. “Tell me sir, why do you meditate here instead of under the beautiful tree in the woods?”

The elder answered, “I am listening to the voice of God. Come. Sit. Listen.”

At first the disciple heard nothing but the cacophony of modern life. But soon he began hearing the babble of many voices and understood that God enjoys hearing His many children in His house, playing, talking, telling stories and planning bright futures. The traffic taught him that God was watching over all those people simultaneously, not allowing any more trouble into their lives than was absolutely necessary to draw them to Him.

How busy God is! How vast His interests; how intimate His care! God is everywhere simultaneously and knowledge of Him can be found anywhere we look (Proverbs 1:20-21). But in order to hear God’s Wisdom, we must be quiet. We must be still and we must listen (John 10:27).

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Biography Information:
I make no claim of superior wisdom or originality. I am a student, just like everyone else. My goal in writing is to simply share whatever God chooses to teach me (many times by my children or parishioners) on any given day. I hope the devotionals are a blessing to you.

Kevin Pauley is a pastor and writer. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Lynn, their five children and two dogs. His internet address is Berea.
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