Parents often repeat themselves, so their children will do what they’re told. I think my kids sometimes imagined “pastor dad” just enjoyed hearing himself talk; they might have been right. However, they knew they needed to listen and obey when I said something like, “I’m not going to tell you again.”
The Holy Spirit used this to teach me an important lesson. Unlike human parents, God never speaks just to hear Himself talk. Every word is purposeful. Our Heavenly Father wants His children to learn to listen and obey, the first time. When repeated, the repetition of God’s word does not happen for His benefit but for ours.
To help me learn to listen the first time, I started to write my thoughts using a simple four step process. My daily devotions came alive.
The Living Faith Journal will bring the scriptures to life for you as well with an easy-to-remember acrostic: W-O-R-D.
WHISPER OF GOD
Read the scriptures with a listening heart because the Holy Spirit will speak to you. Write out the verse or verses that spoke to you from the scripture.
Look at the context around what you wrote down. Ask some questions to do a little investigation. Are words repeated? Who is the audience and who is speaking? What stands out to you? Use a commentary or Bible dictionary to help you dig a little deeper. How did those who first heard this WORD from God understand it? Insightful observation skills reveal what the scriptures mean, and not what we think or want it to mean.
REAL LIFE APPLICATION
This step is the key to obedience—to listen and obey. Observation puts yourself into the shoes of those who first heard God’s WORD to understand. Now, carry the principles taught in scripture home, bringing it from their time in history into your life today. How does God want you to respond to what you hear in your day-to-day life? Real life application means you will live differently. Write down the one thing the Lordwants you to do to apply His WORD today.
Finish with a two-part prayer. Begin by saying “Yes” and agree with God about what He said. Often this involves confessing your sin of disobedience. The second step is to say, “LORD help me.” You can’t do what God says in your own strength—human effort seeks to force obedience through legalism. Instead, you only need to yield to the Holy Spirit who will empower you to obey God’s WORD. Ask God to help you not to give in to the desires of the flesh that lead to sin, but to instead submit yourself to the Spirit, so you can live in righteousness. Make this your daily prayer to walk like Jesus according to the counsel of God’s WORD.
Don’t Keep a Good WORD to Yourself
We really do need each other. Please take a moment to share the WORD God spoke to you in your devotional time. Talk with a friend today. As you let them hear what God is saying to you, as them about what the LORD has been saying to them. Take a moment to pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you walk in obedience to His WORD.
You can also share a comment here. I promise to pray for you. My hope is for this to not only help you walk in daily obedience to what the LORD says, but that we can encourage others to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.