Listening to God

Listening to God

Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
—Jeremiah 33:3

Have you ever thought how remarkable it is that the Creator of the universe is interested in listening to you? Your boss at work may not have time for you. Your mate might be too preoccupied to give you his or her undivided attention. Your children may be sitting mesmerized in front of the computer screen or the television set only emoting an occasional grunt when you try to engage them in conversation. But the Creator God of the universe is interested in listening to you.

God not only wants to listen to you, but He also promises to speak to you. Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, found himself in prison after giving a politically incorrect message that God was going to judge His people for their ungodliness. Jeremiah was in desperate need of a word from God that He was still in control of his life despite his dire circumstances. And in a verse so many of us quote, God said to Jeremiah, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). God is saying, “If you will talk to Me, then I will talk back to you and show you things beyond your imagination.” You see, prayer is a two-way communication. We speak to God, and God speaks to us.

When I think about that truth, I am reminded of a story that came out of the first Persian Gulf War. It seems that a captain had just been assigned the rank of major. He was excited about his new post and the chance to have his own office and secretary for the first time. So on Monday morning, he arrived in his office and sat in his big chair. His secretary buzzed in on the intercom and said, “Major, your first appointment for the day is here.” Wanting to appear busier than he actually was, the major picked up the telephone and pretended to be in a conversation. When the private walked in, the major started talking. He said, “Yes, General, we enjoyed dinner with you and your wife last night as well. Yes, we need to do that again. Thank you so much, General.” He hung up the phone. Then he looked at the private and snarled with as much authority as he could muster, “What do you want?” The private stuttered and stammered. Finally he said, “Well, sir, I am the guy assigned to hook up your telephone.”

Now most of us treat prayer that way. We think prayer is just a one-way conversation in which we talk to God. But not only do we talk to God in prayer, God actually talks to us. As we discover God’s will for our life through prayer, we will learn that praying isn’t as much about how we ought to speak to God, but about how to listen to God.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The God Who Speaks” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.