Monday, September 5, 2011

God Hears You . . . and wants you to know


Do you ever wonder if God; the Almighty King of the Universe, would go out of his way to get your attention?

I am certain that if the Lord had a day planner he would have written for last week: Diane needs to know I am listening and seeing what is happening in her world. She doesn’t know she needs this reassurance but I do—I’m her God. I want my beloved daughter to feel secure, at peace, and remembered by me, her Father.

GOD'S ATTENTION GETTING METHODS

In my experiences, when God desires to get my attention or reassure me about something, he repeats a phrase or serious of phrases three times or more depending on how hard of hearing I am at the moment. I've learned that when I hear a similar expression, especially within a few days, I'm almost sure God is wanting to encourage me that he is going out of his way to show me he is guiding me. I stop and take notice as I don't want to miss what God is doing.

Remember the story of Samuel, found in 1 Samuel 3:5-8:

Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am."
And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."
The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.

Eli, after the third time of Samuel saying "Here I am," finally discerned that the LORD was knocking on Samuel's door with a message tailored for him.

GOD KNOCKS THREE TIMES

God seems to knock on the door of my spiritual heart three times. My experience is not so much like Samuel's, but my experience last week went like this: I read a post on Facebook where an individual encouraged another to not be disheartened—God hears our prayers she wrote. She posted a video from You Tube. The video touched my heart so that it stayed with me most the morning. Then as I listened to my car radio that day—a secular station I might add—interviewed a woman who recently published a book, she in exchange to the announcer’s question answered, God hears our prayers. My ears perked, hum that was the same phrase said earlier.

This is just one incident of several experiences I've had with God going out of his way to let me know he is still here. God has helped me through many rough spots in my faith; therefore, I've learned to ask, Lord are you trying to get my attention?

The next morning as I did some research for a workshop, guess what? 
Yep, I did . . . I ran across that phrase again in a book, God hears our prayers. So Lord, I said, I think you want me to know that even without my asking you, you want me to understand and remember that you hear my prayers, even the prayers I might not be praying yet.

HOW TO DISCERN GOD WANTS YOUR ATTENTION

When I think God is talking to me, I like to:

  • Stop and take note of the words
  • Reflect on what the words mean to me
  • How the phrase applies to what is going on in my life
  • What am I unconsciously saying in my soul or ignoring
  • I ask God what it means, if I don't know already
  • Confirm it bears witness with my spirit

Then I know the Lord is speaking to my inner being.
I love it when God steps down from his mighty throne to give me a short sweet message that he has not forgotten me, or gives me encouragement about a direction I might need to take, or a promise he is going to fulfill in my life. It reassures me, gives me peace, and reminds me I am on God’s mind.

GOD IS A HEARER OF PRAYERS

Our Father wants us to know he is a hearer of prayers. Our prayers might feel like they bounce back at us like a rubber check, or hit the ceiling with a thud, but they do not. The fact is God in his infinite omnipresence knows what is going on in our day-to-day lives. What we worry about, what we don't pray about, what makes us happy, and what spiritual support we need because he is the “Author and Perfecter” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

This cliche’ is worth repeating as it focuses on the Lord hearing and answering prayer: God is never late, never early, he is always on time. The simple message is . . . he is aware of our needs and he is not slow in keeping his promises to us.

 GOD WILL MAKE IT CLEAR

This is what my Father encouraged me with, in regards to this little phrase, God hears our prayers:

  • Our Father is listening to our hearts before we even speak
    • “ . . . Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? (Psalm 44:21).
  • Our Father is listening when we do speak to him
    • “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles,” (Psalm 34:17).
  • Our Father is preparing to act on our behalf
    • “ . . . I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me,” (Psalm 120:1).
  • Our Father will answer our prayers in our time of need
    • “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).

GOD CREATES COINCIDENCES

My challenge to you is to not shrug off those little “coincidences” that seem to be repeated in your every day challenges.

Start asking is God seeking your attention. If so, take note. Most often it is because he wants to encourage you, build your faith, show you he is still on your side, and most of all that you are his child, whom he loves.

Even if God is silent know he is listening! And recognize that God can use any source to speak to us. If he used a donkey to challenge Balaam then he can also use other media, people, Sunday sermons, songs, hymns, billboards, or books to speak a message meant only for your ears. (Story of Balaam found in Numbers 22).
So listen up . . . God is hearing and answering.


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us,” (1John 5:14).