Daily Devotion: Listening to God

From Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKuerst, Samantha Evilsizer

Listening to God

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” (John 5:19 NLT)

I want to be a woman who listens to God. But sometimes I’m not sure if it’s God talking or just me thinking. And if I’m really honest, when I do sense Him whispering to my heart, I’m not always crazy about what I think He’s asking me to do. Like the time I knew God wanted me to share my testimony publicly. I pretty much ran from that assignment for a decade.

encouragment-coverYet, I learned over time that when I listen to God, I discover His best for me and my trust in Him grows. At the end of my ten-year sprint away from what scared me most — sharing the story of my brokenness with others — I surrendered to what God was calling me to do. And I started listening closely to Him and trusting completely in Him. Honestly, I thought I had been listening to Him all along. But one day while I was seeking God’s direction in some decisions, the Holy Spirit showed me I had a habit of asking God what He was calling me to, and then went about doing it without depending on Him for direction each step of the way. I sought God for the larger plans in life, convinced that if I figured out what He wanted me to do, I could take it from there.

Perhaps you’ve had similar thoughts: If God would show me what job to take; what man to marry; what church to attend; what ministry to serve in — then my life would be complete and I’d trust Him with my whole heart. The problem is, sometimes we get a glimpse of where God wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there on our own. How many times have I made that mistake and wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere?

Over time, God has taught me that He wants my spiritual ears more than my spiritual efforts. He wants daily dependence, interaction, and intimacy with me. And He is more concerned with my character than what I schedule for Him on my calendar.

Jesus depended on the Father for the large and fine print of His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” ( John 5:19 NLT). Like Jesus, we will discover God’s purpose for our lives through dependent hearts that seek to listen to His — day by day, moment by moment. Let’s position our hearts, minds, and souls to hear Him speak to us today. –Renee Swope

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