I was walking around the neighborhood today and talking to God. As is my usual way each day, I was asking Him to lead and direct the day’s message. But as we walked, and as I talked, I started to realize that the conversation moved from what the message would be to what my cares were. Soon, the conversation became a monologue, from me. And soon enough, He said, “Shut up and listen.”

We have all been there, haven’t we? There’s always a relative or an enthusiastic friend that just can’t keep their mouth shut. Our children do it to us too sometimes. They just go on and on, get so carried away with what they want to tell us, that after 3 hours of monologue, we lost track of what we wanted to say to them in the first place.

We have been guilty of it too, I’ll bet. When we come to our Father’s presence each day and pray, does it sound like a conversation or does it sound like a monologue? Do you start by taking a deep breath, and then unloading your 87 prayer items for the day, get it over in 87 seconds, say a loud ‘Amen’ and then get on with your day? Or do you let it become a dialogue, a real conversation, and wait upon our Father’s answer in the stillness and peace of His presence?

But you are sitting there thinking, surely God won’t have a sentence by sentence banter with me. It’s not possible for Him to have a conversation with me the way a normal person would. Am I just supposed to sit there in silence till a miracle happens? Well, beloved, you are right on all counts. God it not a normal person so conversations with Him seldom follow human convention. And what if you sat there and really got your breakthrough, what then? For remember beloved, our Father promises,

“Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.” Psalm 81:13-16

When we listen to Him, we allow Him to protect us, lead us away from our enemies and into His bountiful provision. But not only does our Father say that, Jesus says,

“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.” John 5:24 [AMPC]
So there is supposed to be a good amount of listening to be done as well, when we are praying. I mean, think about this logically, even literally, in the natural. When do you interact with someone by means of a monologue? Bank teller? Fast food counter? But I know in your heart of hearts that you do not and do not want to treat God like that, so just how do we listen? Well let’s see.

“Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.” Luke 24:13-15

Jesus has just been crucified three days ago. They were sad, they were down, and they were taking a long walk. Been there before? Sure you have. Whether you are sitting alone by the beach, walking around painting the town red with your therapeutic retail spending, or even just building yourself a boat in your basement; there are times when you have been deliberately alone, so that you can think, ‘converse and reason’ about the things that have happened, so that you can try and figure out just how to proceed from there. But do you realize that it is right at these times that Jesus has drawn near to you?

“And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
And He said to them, “What things?”” Luke 24:17-19

When Jesus draws here, He comes not to judge, nor to give a quick fix. He comes to listen. Now here is where Jesus differs from most men and here is where most men, myself included, can learn a thing or two about helping with problems.

Talking about the problem is as important as solving the problem. Sometimes talking about the problem helps solve the problem. That is why the field of Psychology has its place. And when Jesus draws near, He allows us to talk about our problems, to be that relative that talks too much. But what is even more important than that phase of being in Jesus’ patient chair, is the phase that comes after.

“Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself.” Luke 24:27 [AMPC]

He points them to scripture. But not just scripture, to Himself, in scripture.

It is no accident that the sole mission of this ministry is to unveil Jesus. Because when we behold Jesus, when we see His love for us through His fulfillment of all His promises through all that He has done for others; we can have the confidence that when He says we can claim all His promises for ourselves, because whatever He says, He will do,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

We can claim all His promises for ourselves.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Because all that He says, He will do. And that, beloved, is exactly how we listen to Jesus.

Truly we need to spend time listening to Jesus and to our Father. We need to take in the word, and that means spending time with our Bible, for that is why they are called The Word of God. You can read it, you can hear audio versions of it, you can watch videos and movies made out of it, you can read messages written on it. Whatever mode you choose, just spend time with His Word and He will guide you and direct you and keep you from trouble, just like He did for Peter. For remember, just after Jesus said this to Peter,

“Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,” Luke 22:31 [AMPC]

Peter said this to Jesus,

“Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33

Peter did not even realize that sin was so close, he was soon going to deny Jesus.

So similarly for us, because,

“…when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:4

Jesus knows what’s coming up ahead in our lives, so when we listen, we allow Him to guide us away from the troubles and into His provision, all the while under His protection. For as He has said,

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29

So then beloved child of God, it behooves us to listen to Jesus and our Father for they have said,

“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.” Isaiah 55:2-3

All provision and sufficiency awaits us. This is the best ‘sale’ ever to be announced because all that you could ever want,

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1

It’s all free; and not just only for today, but for an eternity, yours if you would listen. For why did Moses’ generation not get to enter the promised land?

“They never got there because they never listened, never believed.” Hebrews 3:19 [MSG]

And what did they not listen?

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”” Numbers 13:30

They did not listen to Caleb, the one who had faith. And they did not listen to Caleb because they never believed our Father when He said,

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” Numbers 13:1-2

They did not believe that Canaan was the land which our Father was ‘giving to the children of Israel’.

So beloved, “He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing.” Matthew 13:9 [AMPC]
Don’t approach God so consumed with your problems that you forget to shut up and listen. But at the same time, don’t just let His words “…go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” James 1:22 [MSG]

And that means,

“don’t try to figure out everything on your own.” Proverbs 3:5 [MSG]

“Don’t assume that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:7 [MSG]

Instead, believe in every single promise that you read, every single declaration of love for you that you encounter, for they were all put there in the Bible by Jesus and our Father. When you read Their Words, deliberately look out for every blessing, promise and good work that has been written and recorded in the Bible and believe. Then let Them take care of the problems for you.

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