Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. OíConnor 

Feb. 03, 2004

 

Main thought: to examine the importance of taking time to listen.

 

Taking time to listen

 

Iím so grateful for the places of rest the Lord has for His children. Praise the Lord for those who know how to work hard and also know how to be still and listen to His voice. These thoughts are about those times of stillness and refreshing that our Lord has for His own.

The Lord has even provided for salmon that have to fight mighty rushing rivers to return to the places of their origin. Along the riverbanks of these incredibly powerful rivers He places eddies where the currents are actually flowing upstream.

 

In the same way, our Lord places times of stillness in our paths for us to be still so that His refreshing can fill us up for the next wave of growth before us. Take note of what He says here in Isaiah 40 31   Yet those who wait for the LORD  will (1) gain new strength; They will (2) mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. There are those unfortunately once they are in these places of rest, try to make them their final destination and refuse to rise up to take on the next challenge of growth before them. They are like the branches that the Lord describes as follows; John 15 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[1] so that it will be even more fruitful. I heard something once that seems to make sense. Itís a phrase that you can tell what a person is made of through either great trials or great ease. That seems to be very true. We will either cry out to God for His wisdom while going through great trials or cry out in anger to Him that we have to go through them. We will either learn how to use those places of ease He sends our way to deepen our hearts resolve to love Him more passionately or use those times to deepen our resolve to stay in those places of comfort. The following is a story of one that God had sent plenty to and instead of this person using the excess for the Glory of God, decided to heap them to himself; Luke 12: 17-21 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." God wants us to be recipients of His blessings so that we may bless others; Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[ 10:8 The Greek word was used for various diseases affecting the skinĖnot necessarily leprosy.] drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Whole Chapter: Matthew 10 In context: Matthew 10:7-9)

 

So then, those times of refreshing are meant to fill us so that we may pass the joy of His Love on to others, not to horde them to our selfish end. God delights in giving of Himself especially to those with the same nature as Himself. I have found and am continually finding out how one cannot out give God. If a heart hears His plea to press near to Him to seek Him with all of their heart, He fills this one with incredible joys and delights. This is one reason I have felt led to pen these many thoughts that seem to flow into my heart. There is a great swelling of joy and revelation that seems to flow into my heart that must find its release. We all need to find those ministries of service that brings us fulfillment in service to Him. Is it abandoning ourselves to the Lord in service within a mission field somewhere? Or, is it spending hours in intercessory prayer on behalf of others, or is it ministering to our local neighbors that are in more needy situations that we are in?The ways of ministry are incredibly diverse but has at the heart of each one that same selfless love that flows from the Fatherís heart. Where are you at? Do you need that time of refreshing? Then listen to His heart; Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Whole Chapter: Psalm 46 In context: Psalm 46:9-11) The heart that has abandoned itself to being hungry for life will be refreshed with Christ. For God searches to and fro for those who are hungry and thirsty for the living water that only He supplies. We also need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, which I think can be especially challenging for men like myself who are very goal orientated and focused. We need to realize that although we may like to get into a routine and stay with it, God would have us break out of them from time to time for there is a time for all things; Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to [Amos 5:13] be silent and a time to speak. (Whole Chapter: Ecclesiastes 3 In context: Ecclesiastes 3:6-8)

 

When we have the Word of God written in black and white, we tend to put our trust in what our minds can comprehend rather then in God. Iím so grateful that Christ when He walked the earth didnít heal everyone the same way. For if He would have, we more than likely would have made a denomination out of the method He chose to use. Instead, He healed in very different ways so that our trust would be in Him and not the techniques He used. Oh how we would love to comprehend and understand the fullness of God so that we would know by our minds instead of by faith how to take the next step. Thank our Lord for the following scripture;Romans 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Whole Chapter: Romans 8 In context: Romans 8:13-15) God has chosen those who have learned to walk by faith and not by sight to be rich in the knowledge of Him. Knowing Him, the author of the very breath we breathe and Who holds all things together by His power, make us rich beyond our most vivid imaginations. So thanks be to God for the eddies He places along the riverbanks of our lives that provide us those places of quiet rest in Him.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for being greater than our minds and hearts can comprehend. Thank you for choosing the path of faith to be the one that brings you the most Glory, Honor, and Praise. Teach us how to keep our hearts near to Yours that we may always hear Your small still voice telling us where to walk. Thank you Father for loving us so very personally and intimately. Teach us how to grow in that love with You. In Jesus Glorious Name, Amen.

 

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