Pastoral Perspectives

Listen To Almighty God!

“What is God speaking to me today?” and “What is God teaching me today?” ― these are questions which I sometimes ask myself, especially regarding the sermons preached on Sunday. We are all wired differently. A quiet environment does provide us the opportunity to listen attentively but not necessarily so. Listening is not easy when we are pre-occupied with many things in our lives and minds. It needs our willingness to practise listening. If you re-arrange the word: “silent”, it becomes the word: “listen”. I believe that some of you may have come across this before. It is when we are silent, then can we really listen. “To be silent” is “to be completely quiet”. It is the determination and discipline for us not to make any sound or say anything. We are aware that it is not easy realising that there are noises around us and within us. As you know, the moment you woke up from the bed, you would have started hearing noises. We all know that it is crucial to learn to be silent and then to listen to Almighty God.

You may ask: “Do you hear God speaking to you?” I would say that we may not hear Him speaking audibly to us, but He does speak to us through the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Bible. God has given us the Bible, His precious Word, for us to read it so that we may know Him. To hear Him speaking to us, we need to deliberately carve out time for Him and to spend time alone with Him. We also need a conducive and quiet place to hear Him. Beside a quiet place, we need a quiet heart too. Someone asks me: “Do you ever hear the voice of God?” My reply is: “Yes, in my heart. When I am quiet, He will speak to me provided I have given Him attention. It is not the audible type. When I read the Word of God (the Bible), God speaks to me through it.” This was the Bible verse I shared ― But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4). In this verse, the phrase, “every word that comes from the mouth of God” can only indicate that He speaks and we, His beloved children, listen. How can we listen unless we are silent!

Another Bible verse also points to the similar thing: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). If you truly want to listen to Almighty God, you would be able to hear His voice speaking to you. Before you can do that, you need to be His sheep and He be your Shepherd. Are you, His sheep? Is He your Shepherd? When you have put your trust in the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, you become His sheep and He your Shepherd. The comforting words of Jesus remind us that: “He knows us, and we follow Him.” What is the result of following Jesus? In Matthew 4:19, it says: “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When we follow Jesus, He will make us fishers of men. Isn’t it wonderful to be fishers of men? We are His ambassadors, His witnesses. Let us listen to Almighty God.

I would like to share another Bible verse which God spoke to us: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9). When we desire to read God’s Word and respond to it, we are truly listening to Him. God’s Word can keep us pure in our ways and in our walk with Him. It powerfully guards our lives. There is still one more Bible verse which emphasises the powerful words which God spoke to us: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). God knows our thoughts and intentions. We cannot flee from Him, and we should not. He wants to cleanse us and correct us. His rebuke is kind and loving to us and for us. God is good and gracious to speak to each one of us if only we want to give Him our undivided attention and be silent to listen to Him. He wants to change and transform us to be more and more like Jesus, His beloved Son. Are we willing to let Him change and transform us through the power of His Word? His Word is living and active and we cannot escape the reality of this truth! His Word is still living and active today with all the happenings around us. Let us not be dismayed and discouraged by the disasters we see in the news but let us turn and look to Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2b).

I have shared this to remind us of the importance of listening to Almighty God. He wants to speak to us and show us His righteous and holy way so that we may live a life pleasing to Him. Are we willing to listen to Him speaking to us or do we want to be caught up with the things of this world and have no time for Him? It is good to remind ourselves whose we are! We belong to Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd, and the great Shepherd.

I would like to conclude with this Bible verse which meant much to me: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Knowing that Christ Jesus loves me and lives in me, I would live it out by faith in Him, relying upon His grace and His goodness shown towards me. Let us, therefore, carve out time for the Lord Jesus and listen to Almighty God. Amen.