What a glorious day to gather and worship the Living God!
as we gather together, and come before You today in the name of Jesus, we declare that You are One True God and earnestly we will seek You.
Father, it’s our desire to see You in this place; to behold Your power and Your glory.
Lord, Your love is greater than life and our lips will glorify You.
We will praise You as long as we live and with every breath, because we know that our life and every breath comes from You! In Your name, we will lift up our hands in praise and Thanksgiving! You have satisfied our souls as with the riches of You glory and we will give You praise.
In Jesus' name
"This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’"
In some parts of the country, there is a very common phrase that is repeated whenever something is said that the listener agrees with, it is: “I hear ya” or "I feel ya".
If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times.
They say that listening is the biggest part of communication.
I believe this witness is true.
After all, how can we effectively connect with others if we don’t comprehend what is being said?
How about connecting with the Lord?
Think about that!
We talk an awful lot in prayer, and we tell Him of all the many things we need Him to do for us, our families.
But are we listening to what God has to say?
Are we asking Him, what He needs us to do for Him?
Well church, we should!
Because prayer is very Biblical, but what is prayer anyway?
We learn how to pray effectively, so that God will hear and answer..
If this is true, then shouldn’t we learn how to effectively listen to Him?
Is not prayer communication with the Lord?
And isn't communication, listening as well as speaking?
Consider the condition of Israel in Jeremiah’s day:
As one result of their rebellious disease, God told Jeremiah to get a linen girdle. He was to put this girdle on his loins, or waist, and not allow it to get wet.
He was to go to Euphrates and hide it in a hole of the rock.
After many days Jeremiah was to go back and retrieve the girdle.
When he did, he found it to be marred and blemished.
God told Jeremiah that this was a symbol of how He was going to mar the pride of Judah and Jerusalem.
The answer is very simple: They refused to hear God!
They walked in the imagination of their heart, they walked after, served, and worshiped other gods.
In verse 11, our main text today:
"For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear."
The problem was not on the part of God, the problem rested in the fact that the people would not listen to God.
What kinds of things can we do to help us to be better listeners to the Holy Spirit?
First, is to Realize that God is not hard to listen to!
Jesus is a gentle savior!
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah slew the prophets of Baal and King Ahab told his wicked wife, Jezebel. At this point, Jezebel wanted Elijah dead for his actions, even though he simply did what God wanted him to do.
Elijah fled for his life into the wilderness, sat down under a juniper tree and asked God to take him home.
While Elijah was snoozing, an angel woke him up and told him to eat. The meal was already prepared. He ate twice and went in the strength of that meal 40 days!!
"And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
God’s Revelation to Elijah
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."
No doubt Elijah was shocked!!
What on earth was God doing?
God was showing Elijah that He is a gentle God, that He is easily approachable.
It was in that still small voice that God gave Elijah clear and specific direction.
Sometimes, we may think that it is the grand production that produces the voice of God, but that is simply not true!
The voice of God is most often heard in quiet humility.
So what else can we do to become better listeners to the Holy Spirit?
The second thing we can do, is to give God complete control over our lives!
Why don’t people listen to each other?
They don’t want to give up any of their own personal control.
We humans can be so insecure and afraid, they we tend to think that just because we listen to somebody, means we have to agree with everything they say.
Or in the case of some people, disagree!
When it comes to God, that is a different story!
Because God is perfect!
He is always right!
Yet at the same time, God is far more flexible and full of variety than most people!
People struggle to listen to God because they are afraid He might say something they don’t want to hear.
I know many people, who struggle to surrender control of their lives to God.
Their lives are falling apart, crumbling more each day, yet their want to maintain,
that they are in control!
Well, hello! Have you stopped to look at the result of that control?
It's a mess!
You've done it your way, and its not working!
What do you have to lose by giving the control to God?
People talk about all the things they want to be different in their lives, how they wish things were, yet they refuse to do what's required to obtain it!
Let me just reassure everyone under the sound of my voice:
I wouldn't exchange the peace that I have come to know, through Christ, for all the money in all the world!
I used to be one of those people, who looked at other people and wondered how they could possibly remain at peace, when everything around them was falling apart!
They must just not care!
They must've gone insane!
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
It is the presence of peace that we have read about in John 14:27.
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Lastly, we can practice listening to God, put ourselves in a daily position
to hear His still small voice..
Some of the greatest people of prayer I know are people who take time to listen to God.
They realize that listening is just as vital as talking to Him.
God wants to protect us from Spiritual Deafness:
There is a form of deafness known to physicians in which the person affected is able to hear everything except words.
In such a case the ear, as an
apparatus for mere hearing, may be so perfect that the tick of a watch
or the song of a bird is really appreciated. But owing to a local injury
deeper than the ear, for it is in the brain itself, all spoken words of
his mother tongue are as unintelligible to the sufferer as those of a
Give him a book and he may read as
understandingly as anyone here, but every word addressed to him through his ear
reaches his consciousness only as a sound, not as a word.
I want to close today with a simple prayer:
I pray that spiritual deafness would not plague Your people in these last days.
Teach us Lord to listen to You each and every day, so that we might find the fellowship and the direction that as Your children, we all desire in our lives, Your Kingdom!
In Jesus Name we ask and pray!
Amen and Amen
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries