Pastoral Perspectives

Listen to the LORD

“We are, all of us, creatures of habit, and when the seeming necessity for schooling ourselves in new ways ceases to exist, we fall naturally and easily into the manner and customs which long usage has implanted ineradicably within us.” – by Edgar Rice Burroughs 

We do what we think is right without due consideration for others. We normally do what we are comfortable with and what we are familiar to. When we encounter any issue or problem, we usually do not prefer to seek help from others but often will try to solve them ourselves. That is the natural part of us all. If we cannot handle or manage, then we will go and approach those whom we are most comfortable with. We listen to ourselves first and then, to others later. God is seldom or hardly in the picture! How sad it is! Each of us has our own ups and downs, our own happy and sad moments and our own strengths and weaknesses. Our minds are often cluttered with too many things. Some of us are good at multi-tasking. For me, I can only do one thing at a time. We cannot stay focused or concentrated for a span of time. Listening attentively and patiently is tough. Listening to others and to ourselves are much easier than listening to the LORD! How does God get your attention and mine? There is a quotation from C. S. Lewis, which reminds me of this:

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

God uses pain to shout at you and me! This is how He gets our attention. Listening to the LORD is a joy and a privilege. It is a good discipline to cultivate. In order to listen to God, we need to be silent before Him. We need to have silence and solitude. We need to deliberately carve out such time for Him. Seek Him while He is near. Seek Him and you shall find Him. Seek Him earnestly, whether we are well or unwell. Love Him and His presence through earnestly seeking Him. He is the Good and Great Shepherd of our souls.

How do you prepare yourself to be quiet and still before the true and living God? In Psalm 46:10 ESV, the Word of God says: ““Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Focus your thought on God. Think of His grace: His amazing grace! His all-sufficient grace! His awesome grace! It is by the grace of God that you are able to have free access to God anytime, anywhere and any moment. If you may, tell God that at such a such a time, you would like to spend time alone with Him. You may get two or three persons to uphold you in prayer for that allocated time with God. At that designated time, find a quiet spot in the comfort of your home, undistracted, give God your undivided devotion, without gadget if possible. Be still, before the great and awesome God! Practise being silent for 5 minutes, then extend to 10 minutes. As you do that, focus your thought on the faithfulness of God or the grace of God. Let God Himself speak to your heart and conscience. He may whisper a word or phrase to you or perhaps, point you to a Bible verse which you have not come across it for a long time. He may not even show you anything during that quiet moment. Simply enjoy His blessed presence! The presence of God brings delight to our soul. The presence of God is what we often miss. “God is present” brings much comfort, delight and encouragement to my heart and soul. I often rejoice in the very presence of God, in the power of God’s faithfulness and love. Let us know that He is God. Let Him be exalted, favoured and glorified in our life and ministry. Remember that listening to the LORD takes time, effort and cultivation. Once you are familiar with the Voice of God, whenever He nudges you, you will gladly and gratefully know. When our minds are preoccupied with other things, we can hardly hear God when He wants to speak with us. Sometimes, we simply refuse to let Him speak with us. We simply go through the days without Him and His precious Word. “Be quiet! Be still! God is present. God is waiting and watching! God is going to speak graciously and lovingly to each one of us if we would gladly allow Him to.” Let us learn from His beloved Son Jesus in Mark 1:35 ESV – “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” This is how our Lord Jesus spent time with His Heavenly Father when He was here on earth. He set a vivid example for us to follow. Are you going to follow His good example?

Listening to the LORD will change the perspective of your life in Christ. Let us give Him our full attention and undivided devotion and honour Him through carving out precious time alone with Him and Him only. Let us warmly invite His blessed presence to be with us during that “Listening to the LORD” time. 

Preacher George Ang

April 26, 2020