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Do You Hear What I Hear--Part TWO

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR—Part Two

 

In part one of Do You Hear What I Hear, we read in Jeremiah 37 about King Zedekiah and how he allowed himself to be swayed by whatever the public opinion was at the time.  He was what we term today as ‘fickle’.  We also took a look at Noah Webster’s 1828 Online Dictionary and learned the first definition of the word listen. The first meaning is to hearken; to give ear; to attend closely with a view to hear.  We discussed how in the early centuries people did not have the written word as readily available as we do today so pastors/priests read the word out loud.  Let’s take a look at another definition for the word listen.

 

The second definition Webster gives for the word listen is --- to obey; to yield to advice; to follow admonition.  This definition is perhaps not as easily followed as the first.  While we can hear what is being said to us and read God’s word thoroughly, we do not always obey/yield to what the Lord tells us to do.  Have you ever done that?

 

This is a constant battle for me.  I listen, or at least I try to, but then I always want to do my own thing.  I sometimes break the rules—just in small ways mind you. Like when my kids were young and they would ask for a cookie.  Instead of being a parent and dealing with the fits and tantrums because I said they could not have another cookie, I would say things like, “All gone. No more cookies in the jar.” knowing full well there were cookies.

 

Trivial you say?  It is these so called trivial things in our lives that will define who we are in Christ. Am I obeying God’s word which directly says I should not lie?  If I make compromises here in such a trivial matter, it is a safe bet I will make excuses in other areas of my life as well. I must make sure while reading and listening to God’s word, I am obeying and yielding to God’s word in every way.

 

It is this second definition which brings me to prayer. Once we listen (with our ears) we then must listen (obey) the words God gives us.  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Online, the word pray --or a derivative thereof- is used 430 times in the KJV Bible.  Jesus thought prayer so important that He did so daily.  He asked His disciples to pray with Him in the garden of Gethsemane.  He thanked His Father in heaven through prayer. He asked His Father to forgive in prayer. Jesus gave His disciples a model prayer in the book of Matthew chapter 6, but He did so much more. Jesus modeled prayer with/in His very life.

 

If our Lord and savior, the Son of the one, true, living God, sought out His Heavenly Father’s direction through prayer and our God inspired the many writers of the Bible to include prayers and record occurrences of various prayers in both Old and New Testament scriptures, shouldn’t we consider the possibility God wants us to pray in a true and meaningful way every day?        

 

When I was a young girl, my mother worked but would leave a note on the kitchen counter telling me what chores needed to be done when I got home from school. I would of course read the note and then go about watching TV, eating a snack, playing outside with friends or whatever else I could find to do before completing my chores.  I always honored my mother and carried out her words; however, the note did not have the same impact on me as when my mother was actually home and verbally telling me the same things written on the note. There was something about her presence which caused me to pay closer attention and to obey her words immediately.  This is so true with our Heavenly Father too!

 

When I pray, God’s writes His words on my heart. I know He speaks to me through His word but God speaks to me through prayer too.  Prayer is how I get forgiveness of sin because I confess my sin every day and ask Him to help me follow His will for my life. Prayer is how I build a relationship with God and Him with me. The more I pray the better I become at hearing God’s voice.  Just like hearing my mom’s voice resulted in my immediate action, hearing God’s voice has an immediate impact on whether or not I obey Him right away or put things off.  His Holy Spirit moves me to act on the words God has spoken to my heart that day.

 

Do You Hear What I Hear is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Every stanza begins with the word “said” which means ‘declared’.  When someone declares something we usually give them our attention.  Through a dedicated prayer life, God will declare His plans for us and all we need to do is listen.  It takes practice and daily dedication but if we are faithful we will hear His voice and obey His words.

 

Always loving the Lord,

Lori Robbins 

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