July 1, 2016
Whose Voice Do You Hear?
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I taught third grade for several years while my husband Dan attended Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. I was fortunate to be assigned to one of the largest and best elementary schools in town. My class was one of seven third-grade classes.
Anyone who has ever taught school knows that the first few days of school are always chaotic.
The PE teacher was a welcome sight when she appeared at my door to take the students out to the playground. After PE it was the responsibility of each teacher to pick up her students. Seven teachers trying to get the attention of over 200 students was especially interesting on the first or second day of school when the teachers did not know their students and the students did not know their teachers.
But an amazing thing happened every year. After the first few days of school, all of the third grade teachers lined up to gather their children from the playground. It took only a word or two for the kids to come running. They quickly learned to recognize the voice of their new teacher because they listened to her voice all day long in the classroom.
We must do the same.
In every circumstance and situation, we need to listen for His voice ... above all the other voices in our lives.
And we must spend time with Him in order to recognize His voice.
Being wrapped up in God’s work can easily become a shabby substitute for being wrapped up in His presence. The paradox is that we can only be wrapped up in God’s presence when we stop and learn how to wait on Him.
While I absolutely hate to wait on anyone or for anything, I am learning that there is a divine purpose and sacred power made available to us in every waiting room of life.
Waiting robs me of control. I am forced to face the unknown. Waiting on God may well provide the catalyst that will change my very life course. In each waiting room, He is at work preparing me for the circumstance and preparing the circumstance for me.
“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3 nlt).
From those still, quiet moments of waiting and seeking comes a sacred balance that takes root and grows. It is through the choice to wait on God that a seeking heart finds every need met and light in the darkness.
We not only must stop and be still in order to sit at the feet of Jesus, we must learn to listen. Deuteronomy 30:19-20 instructs us with these words: “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life.”
I know there are many voices that clamor for our attention. The key to a balanced life is to train our hearts toward God and teach our spiritual ears to listen for His voice above all the others.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus resets our life focus. It is in those moments when we have stopped long enough to hear Him speak that the battle for balance is won. It is after we have been still before Him that we are empowered to embrace a life of balance.
Father, I desperately need Your guidance in setting the priorities and goals in my life. I want to please You and do what You alone have created me to do. Please help me see and do Your plan.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
- Set aside 30 minutes this week to spend alone with God.
- Examine your life for areas that are out of balance.
- Surrender that imbalance to God and ask Him to show you how to abide in Him instead of relying upon yourself and your own strength.
More from the Girlfriends
The reality is that a perfectly balanced life was lived only once on this earth – by Jesus Christ. My chances of doing so are slim. It would be so easy to just throw my hands in the air or dive back under the covers and pray that the world will just go away and leave me alone. Been there? You are not alone, girlfriend. We are all in different seasons of life, but the struggle is the same – learning to put God first and then allowing Him to set the agenda for each day. Need help? My book, Escaping the Stress Trap is a verse-by-verse study of Psalm 23 and a great guide for learning how to abide in God. Check it out!
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