Have you not been listening?
by Jan Cox
We have a small malti-poo named Snowball. She is almost two years old. Although I took her to puppy training she was still – what shall I say – less obedient than I wanted. I know she looks innocent in this picture.
This fall we tried out Trick Classes. As she learned to do her tricks, Snowball learned to focus – to watch my eyes, my hands and listen to my voice. She began to pay attention to me. We have more to learn and we will attend intermediate classes in the new year, but I have her attention now.
God wants our attention. In many ways He works to get us to focus on Him. His Word, the Bible, is the best way to learn about Him. Our circumstances, other people and nudges from the Holy Spirit are ways God speaks to us, as well.
But do I LISTEN? My prayer has been, “Help me to focus on You, Lord.” Slowly I can let all the other stuff that floats around in my mind be pushed aside. And then I can LISTEN to His Word.
When I read the Bible I have a notepad to record my thoughts and I underline in my Bible passages that SPEAK to me.
This morning I read from 2 Peter:
“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love…” (2 Peter 1:5 The Message).
I know I can’t do those things by myself. I know I need to pray for all of those character qualities to manifest themselves in me.
So my personal prayer is:
Lord help me to build a good character, have spiritual understanding and an alert discipline. Build in me passionate patience and reverent wonder. Help me to show warm friendliness and generous love.
Can you see how listening to His Word helps me to apply this to my life?
When I focus; when I become more obedient – I learn, I grow.
As I have Snowball’s attention so now God has my attention. I continue to LISTEN to Him.
“Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening?” (Isaiah 40:21-24 The Message).
It is time – as we head towards Christmas – Let us LISTEN to God.
Father, we do desire to be obedient to Your Word. We know we lose focus – forgive us. Help us to learn to LISTEN to Your voice. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. In Jesus’ name. AMEN
My Gratitude List for this week. I am counting to 1000 and I am at 767.
- Wayne is extending the hours between painkillers
- The auto adjuster is willing to wait for a quote for underwriter for our medical insurance
- Decision made not to travel to Israel this spring
- We will go on another trip to Israel another time
- Getting words of wisdom from Holy Spirit about what to write
- Learning more about Holy Spirit through Charles Stanley’s book
- A beautiful card from Carissa – wow!
- Ideas, ideas and more ideas
- The Hope of Christ – Hallelujah!
- A wow story of God’s healing both physical and spiritual
- How Ann Voskamp’s book is impacting my Bible study group
- Watching You, Lord, work in people’s lives
- A wise, loving, understanding Naturopath
- Ability to learn new skills
- Patience while dealing with Bell Canada
- Driving in the rain in a golf cart – in Arizona
- Seeing rain in the desert
- Seeing Snowball graduate from Trick Class – with a hat and certificate – too funny!
- Mom’s cold getting better
- Kathy’s back getting better
- Cooler temperatures – actually cold in the desert
- Fog – in the desert
- Getting Facebook to work for Under the Cover of Prayer
- Christmas carols with a band for Sunday service
Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.