In 1905 my grandfather, Chester Maxwell, was given some excellent advice while at Shiloh Bible School in Maine. He was told, “Keep low before God, and listen.” Today we will consider the part about listening. In Jeremiah 13:15 we are told, “Hear and give ear, do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken.” To give ear means to listen very carefully.
In Joel, the first chapter, words are written that could have been spoken today: “Give ear all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children about it, let their children tell their children and their children another generation.” It then goes on to say that he’s talking about the plague of locusts.
In order to hear the voice of God, we must listen for Him. When we want to hear what a friend is saying to us, we need to stop talking and focus on what is being said. We must pause our words and thoughts and concentrate on listening to our friend’s words. It’s the same way with hearing from God. When we’re busy all the time with our own thoughts and needs, we will find it difficult to clearly hear the voice of God.
Some people keep busy all the time because they don’t want to have time to think. Perhaps they don’t want to think about some mistake they made in the past, or even some disappointment in their life. Other people keep busy all the time because they feel their only value is in what they can accomplish with their hands. Still others just feel so restless that they can never get quiet. If you have problems of this kind, ask Jesus to save you from the thing that won’t allow you to get quiet before Him. Remember that He said, “Ask and you shall receive.”
The Sabbath is a good time to press the pause button and change our focus from the cares and pressures of this world to the things above. The dictionary says that a pause can mean “a temporary stop, rest, or cessation.” What does this sound like to you?
This Sabbath, let’s steal away from the cares and pressures of life and listen for the voice of God.