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Listen to God. Pay Attention to Him.

Read Isaiah 51:1-8

God wants His followers to listen to Him.

This is something that often hear especially in the most popular, biggest evangelical churches coming out of Canada and America. I bring these churches up because they fill our social media feeds with scriptures and reminders of “how to hear God’s voice.” Christians often ask the question “how do I know God’s calling for my life” or “how do I listen to God?”. There are many answers for this that the modern church has come up to answer this question. Sometimes these answers are mystical, or they might even pull from different faiths or movements for us to get closer to God. Not all of these practices are bad either,

We can meditate, shut everything off, reflect in silence and listen for God.

We can create a special space in our house to spend time with God and as we study the bible and listen to soft worship music. These are some excellent practices that we have pulled from the monastic movement that is still currently practiced.

However there are some other ways that are not biblical that pull from occult practices. For instance there are churches that sell “Christian spiritual cards” that look eerily similar to tarot cards. There are also practices where people believe they are praying to saints of the faith or even hear God through past apostles—they may even go to a graveyard where they believe these people are buried to get closer to God.

There isn’t a special, secret way to hear God in a certain way. God has spoken, God is speaking, and God will continue to speak—the question that we have to ask is: “Are we listening?”

1. God teaches His People that He is Faithful

Isaiah starts this portion of scripture understanding that God’s people are in a bad place. They have gone through a long time of God’s judgement and their people have been split apart, they have been destroyed and there are fewer of God’s people in the nation of Israel, Judah still stands and identifies as God’s nation but this is a time where God’s people have a hard time “hearing God and following God.” God’s answer to this is to meet His people and to teach them to follow Him.

Isaiah is writing in an encouraging way from Verses 1-3.

God wants His people to look to their past. Look what came before you, look at Abraham your father—look at His faithfulness. Be comforted in this hard time knowing that I took care of you through Abraham and Moses. “Then I bless him and multiplied him. Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;”

This directly compares to what Jesus says in Matthew 6,

“For this reason I say to you, [n]do not be worried about your [o]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [p]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” –Matthew 6:25-26

If God has taken care of His people in the past He will take care of His people now. Again, God isn’t talking about comfort or luxuries—He is talking about their salvation. God will save the righteous and judge the wicked. (2 Peter 3).

“God counsels His people to look at His work in His people in days past. This is one of the great glories of God’s word to us; it tells us how God has dealt with His people and gives us faith and guidance for His work in our lives – if we will listen to Him.“ ---- Enduring Word

“Once a Christian gets eaten up with discouragement and unbelief it takes a great deal to shake him out of it. Those two emotions are the masterstrokes of Satan. So long as the child of God maintains an attitude of praise and trust in the Lord, then he is invincible. Once the devil gets him discouraged, that poor man is really going to take a knocking!” –Alan Redpath

2. God remains forever; the world will die, who will you choose?

Isaiah is making it very clear that God’s righteousness is perfect and all we need. He describes the power of salvation found in repenting and confessing to God—this power lasts forever.

“My salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will not wane. ‘Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is my law; do not fear the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings.” --Isaiah 51:6-7

God is making it very clear that the things His people are fearing on earth will not hold power to who God is. His people are fearing the destruction of their temple and the sorrow/ suffering that will bring. This also compares directly to the ultimate destruction of Jesus—The highest most holy “temple”. Even God will go through a time of undeserved suffering BUT in His suffering He will look to the father. What does Jesus do during His crucifixion?

“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” –Matthew 27: 46

In Jesus’ darkest hour he Looks To God. He calls out to God, yells at Him, but Jesus isn’t focusing on the suffering rather He is focusing on His Father God. This is what God wants us to do.

What is the greatest way to hear God speaking? Through Prayer and daily bible study and reading. God’s word is living, its breathing, God has spoken through His word and will continue to speak through His word. We must be pouring over God’s word and in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us while we read His word.

Listen to God. Pay Attention to God. Listen to Him.

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