Don’t Wait Too Late

“Don’t Wait Too Late”

Don’t wait too late to develop a relationship with Christ. While reading several passages of scriptures, I thought about the value of our time on Earth. I thought about the importance of developing a relationship early in life with Christ.

One passage of scripture of particular importance is Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”

There aren’t any guarantees that we’ll reach our “golden” years. Our time on Earth is only for a short duration. Therefore, we should “prioritize” how best to utilize our time wisely. We’re not here, because we’re good. We’re here because of God’s goodness, through His grace and mercy.

Another passage of scripture paints a vivid picture of what will happen to us as we grow old. John 21: 18-19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”

Psalm 90:9-10, “All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

The world will pass away and everything in it. Therefore, the importance of spending quality time meditating on God’s word should have the utmost priority. Mark 8:36, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

We live in a “fallen” world filled with senseless and gratuitous violence. The world has become a “darker” place because of ungodly people. We need to continue to meticulously study and meditate on God’s precepts every day to maneuver through life.

I like what Psalm 73:25, says “Do I have anyone else in heaven? There’s nothing on earth I desire except you. My body and my heart fail, but God is my heart’s rock and my share forever.” We should have a desire to be obediently faithful by serving Him every day of our lives.
  

Distraction or Blessing

Is the use of social media smartphones, and the Internet, a distraction? How can it be used as an evangelistic blessing?

Are we diligently searching for wisdom and knowledge? James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Proverbs 18:15, The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.”

Are we utilizing our time wisely to study God’s inspired Word? His timeless and indelible Word, is our GPS, to successfully guide us through the storms of life. Much of what’s written is for our good, in order to shape and mold us, as a serviceable vessel for Him.

Many people waste “countless” hours on social media or other venues, and less time to invest in their own salvation. A person may have a thousand “likes,” on Facebook, or a million followers on Twitter, and it won’t mean a thing when you die, and face eternal judgment. Ephesians 5:16-17, “Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Our lives on this Earth should be in accordance with God’s precepts. James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-9, And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Proverbs 15:14, “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.”

— Poetic Thought –

There are those who become obnoxious when separated from their smartphones and when they run out of cash 

Social media, cable television, smartphones, and the Internet can become a distraction, perhaps a blessing 

Therefore, efforts should be undertaken to eliminate irrelevant things we’re possessing

Many live as though tomorrow is promised, thinking they’re in control 

Often spiritually “ill-equipped” with a malnourished soul 

The use of social media can become a powerful tool to share the glorious news to the unsaved 

By evangelizing to the masses of how to be free and not enslaved

Edward L. Wright © 2018

Guard the Heart

Philippians 2:5, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

We must guard the heart. The most important decisions in life start from the heart.

For the mouth speaks of what the heart is full of.

If good thoughts are stored, goodness will abound.

If evil thoughts are stored, evilness will abound.

Therefore, we must guard our heart from everything that flows from it.

Words can flow out of the mouth praising or cursing.

Either to encourage or denigrate.

It’s easy for people who aren’t of the faith to exhibit anger, deceit, bitterness, jealousy, and unforgiveness.

Even for those who say they’re of the faith.

“A time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body, but not in spirit.”

Therefore, we must not masquerade, as though we’re saints.

Simply, “going to church,”and not to “worship”doesn’t please God.

We must love and worship God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Amos 5:21-23, says, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.”

What is our relationship with God? Is there one?

Are we in right fellowship?

If we have a relationship, shouldn’t our behavior and actions change for the better?

God’s word says, “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

It’s easy for those to attach the “Christian”label, without any sacrifice and suffering.

Most aren’t willing to devote a portion of their time to read, meditate, or pray.

Only when their “backs are against the wall,” they remember to give God a minute.

Edward L. Wright © 2019

What Does It Profit?

People often pay more attention to their bodies, yet neglect their souls. Our bodies will shrivel-up, but our souls will last forever.

Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

1 Samuel 16:7,But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Our souls are of tremendous worth.

Yes, more precious of the rarest commodities on Earth.

The devil knows Christians can do great deeds.

By spreading the gospel of love and assisting with needs.

God purchased us, through his one and only son.

He gave us an eternal soul before time begun.

What’s at stake, if our soul is lost?

Have we ever considered the eternal cost?

Often, we act as though, we’re in control.

We pet and pamper our bodies; yet, neglect our soul.

Though outwardly, our bodies are wasting away.

Yet, if we live in Jesus, we’ll be renewed everyday.

We must remember this world will be destroyed.

Those who possess delusions of grandeur will be devoid. 

The whole world is a prisoner, and the devil wants control.

What can be profited, if we lose our soul?

Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Anthology of a Spiritual Mind.” iBooks.

Lying

“Unhealthy practice of twisting the truth to mislead others.”

I recall an article from “LA Progressive,” dated July 19, 2010, it stipulated “spinning was sweeping the news.”  During this period, it meant the profoundly unhealthy practice of twisting the truth to mislead others into supporting the spinner’s agenda, e.g., political, or journalistic news.

The term “spinning,” was considered a new label for an age-old strategy of persuasion. Usually, you’d find the usage of this strategy with TV commercials, car salesmen, politicians, etc. Their tactics were to exaggerate, hide, or otherwise distort the truth, in order to coax others to spend money on products or to increase voter turn-out.

Currently, through social media, television, and radio, we don’t know what to believe. The term “fake news,” is intermingled with “spinning.” We expect our politicians to represent their constituents and work with one another, on each side of the aisle. Unfortunately, “partisan” politics often impedes the progress for getting anything done. 

What is the truth? Even those who deliver the news may be delivering “opinions” rather than facts. The division between news and opinion used to be clearly delineated. Most journalists uncover facts versus opinions. However, there are those who chase after ratings and become a source of entertainment. News outlets should seek the truth to uncover lies. Whatever happened to objectivity regarding political or journalistic issues? Obviously, those days have long passed. Whatever happened to public responsibility to seek the truth?

The Bible provides a myriad of scriptures about lying. Depicted below are several:

•    Proverbs 12:22 – “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.”

•    Proverbs 12:19 – “Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment.”

•    Proverbs 17:7 – “Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool-how much worse lying lips to a ruler.”

•    1 Peter 3:10 – “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.”

•    Psalm 34:13 – “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”

If we want to be a blessed nation and become a greater example to others, we must exhibit our love for God. Therefore, each of us must diligently find the truth through God’s word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 –“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

People should look at the creator and sustainer of life for divine truth and guidance. The world is getting darker every day. Without God, there is no hope. This is not “fake news,” it’s from the word of God.

Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven

Several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of listening to Brother Richard A. Rose, deliver a memorable sermon. Brother Rose’s sermon was entitled, “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” The sermon focused on the importance of salvation and fully surrendering to Christ’s Lordship.

As I reminisced on the sermon, I thought about the time I came to Christ, during my early twenties. Even though I committed myself to the Lord, I voluntarily responded to the call not actually thinking about total commitment, sacrifice, and surrendering, to His sovereign authority.

During my youthful years, I straddled the fence attempting to live with one foot in the world, and the other one with a half-hearted effort to follow Christ. Through a myriad of failures, fears, and disappointments, I learned to trust Him for wisdom and guidance.

God is the creator and sustainer of everything. One of my favorite verses is, Isaiah 66:1-3: “This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”

Through the years, my faith and prayer life has steadily grown. I remain cognizant and continue to rely on Him. I’m so thankful for his countless grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, not from yourselves, but the gift of God — not by works.” I’m so thankful for this marvelous gift that God has bestowed.

If I want to go to heaven, I must deny myself and follow Him. Mark 8:34, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” What does this mean? He speaks of self-denial, crucifixion, and daily death.

Luke 9:23-25, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

True salvation produces a heart of obedience. The power of His word through the Holy Spirit enables us to walk in love, with faith and courage. If we’re true believers, we should exhibit godly behavior. How often do you see fellow believers exhibiting questionable behavior? 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” True discipleship aligns with God.

John 12:24-26, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

How can we adequately prepare for the heavenly journey? In accordance with 2 Timothy 2: 15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

Most people want to go to heaven, but no spiritual preparation is undertaken for the eternal journey. 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

If we want to go to heaven, we must grow to attain spiritual maturity. Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore, let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.”

If we’re spiritual, we must be diligent and present ourselves well in handling the word of truth. How must we present ourselves? 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Understanding and applying God’s word determines our final destiny. Therefore, we need to have an active working knowledge of the word. Most people when asked to locate various scriptures, don’t know whether it’s from the old or new testament. God’s word is our sustenance for spiritual daily living. The Bible isn’t meant to be placed on a bookshelf for collecting dust. It’s meant to be read, meditated, and applied.

We live in a world of disarray. We can’t continue to live in ignorance by taking chances by relying on our own human wisdom. We must develop a greater understanding of our Savior, and maintaining a sustainable relationship.

It’s important to read and apply His word daily. This ensures we put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-17, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Everyone wants to go to heaven; however, what is our spiritual condition? Matthew 7:21 -23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

It’s a fact, we’re all destined to die. How should we live during our remaining years? Are we prepared for the heavenly kingdom? What is our spiritual heart condition? Are we living Christ-like? We’ll never attain perfection; however, every day we must strive to get there. If our lives are filled with anger, sexual sin, jealousy, criticism, and unforgiveness, we’re only fooling ourselves, if we think we’re going to heaven. We must do all we can to prepare while we’re on this side of life. Hebrews 9:27, “Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

1 Peter 4:18, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Everyone wants to go to heaven; however, is everyone ready?

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven”

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

Bring your children to Sunday school, and bring your behind too.

How’re we ever going to grow a church, if you won’t follow through?

When they come to Sunday school,

They’ll learn more than just the Golden Rule.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

“We’re not just in the business of feeding and clothing.

That’s not what we do!

We want to evangelize to the masses, so bring back one or two.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

The size of our congregation is two fifty, or more.

However, when evening service comes, folks aren’t breaking down the door.

It’d be nice to have more youngsters in attendance at all times.

Studying to understand God’s Word won’t initiate any crimes.

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.

My pastor preached to the congregation

Who shouted, “Preacher, you ain’t telling no lie.”

Everybody wants to go to heaven,

But nobody wants to die.”

Excerpt From: Edward L. Wright, Ed.D. “Spiritual Reflections of a Poetic Mind.” iBooks.

God’s Promise

God’s promise was to never leave or forsake me. However, the absence of my short-term memory has left me dependent on others for daily living.

Often, I stare in the mirror, not recognizing the person staring back. I ask myself, “Who is this decrepit person?”

While looking in the mirror, I place my wrinkly hands on my face. My fingers pulsate with pain from arthritis with each movement.

My wobbly legs prevent me from standing for long periods. I cautiously descend to my wheelchair to prevent falling.

While ambulating with my wheelchair across the other side of the room, my body experiences uncontrollable tremors.

I grow frustrated and depressed thinking about my physical and cognitive infirmities.

I feel guilty and ashamed of having someone care for me.

If only I could dress and feed myself. If only I could prepare my own meals. If only I had my short-term memory. If only I were continent. If only I would not repetitively ask my caregiver the same questions.

While gazing out of the living room window, a ray of radiant sunshine compliments a beautiful blue sky.

I see several hummingbirds hovering near a large Oak tree with their beaks devouring nectar from the feeder.

I see a young woman pushing her infant in a stroller on the sidewalk, as others congregate to take a peek.

I see a beautiful Blue Jay, flying near a Maple tree, while sparrows perch on various tree limbs.

Despite my infirmities, I’m thankful for God’s goodness, and the beauty I see.

God’s been so merciful, for I could have been dead and gone.

As I reminisce of yesteryear, I’m thankful to God who brought me from a mighty long way.

Throughout my relationship with God, I’ve always been an avid reader of His Word.

While thumbing through various Books of the Bible, I turn to Isaiah 46:4.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

While meditating on this passage, I realize its simplicity, truth, and relevance.

I realize that I don’t have to go through the aging process alone.

Despite whatever issues I’m going through, I know God will never leave or forsake me.

I also reminisce of Psalm 139, of God creating and knowing everything about me.

I’m comforted in knowing I’m in the Master’s Hands.

I’m no longer afraid of life, or death.

Glory be to the God of all comfort.

Edward L. Wright © 2019

Freedom

Freedom consists of knowing God is in control. Freedom is having peace, joy, and laughter, in our lives. When we’re faced with torrential storms, God is there to rescue us through His loving-kindness. We don’t deserve all the chances that we’ve been given. We should always be mindful of how He bestows grace and mercy in our lives. After all, we could have been dead.

I’m sincerely blessed to have Inspire Press, choose my poem, “Freedom,” for publication in their new anthology series, “Inspire Kindness,” released December 8, 2018. This series incorporates stories, devotions, poems, testimonies, along with salient overviews of real events. https://www.inspirewriters.com/series/inspire-anthology/

Last year, I had the distinct privilege of having two of my poems chosen, “Loving-Kindness” and “Crossing Over Jordan,” in the anthology series “Inspire Love.”

Freedom. A love like no other. God is the author of love and He showed his great love for us by sending His Son to die for each of us. The anthology series, “Inspire Kindness,” incorporates stories, devotions, poems, and real world events.

FREEDOM

Lord, you saved me from my affliction when I was lost in the storm

 I had no peace, joy, or laughter, having felt the wrath of your mighty arm

You placed my feet on solid ground when I was quickly sinking deep in sand

Your loving-kindness rescued me from danger by your sovereign hand

I don’t deserve all the chances that you have given me

I’m forever blessed that you removed my shackles to set me free

Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy, that I truly don’t deserve

Help me to remain faithful, obedient, and always serve

Edward L. Wright © 2018

Inspire Kindness

Our Savior’s Birth



Galatians 4: 4-5:

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

As we celebrate this festive holiday season

We must remember to pay homage to God, for He’s the reason

The meaning of Christmas is to celebrate our Savior’s birth

It’s not about collecting stuff, while were on Earth

Celebrating together means more than just exchanging perishable gifts

It’s about truly understanding our blessings, before our mental reasoning shifts

Christ came into the world for the forgiveness of sin

He was born to die, where do I begin

We should meditate on our blessings and always pray

For His love, mercy, and grace, shelters us each day

In this life, we’re not promised tomorrow

For this sinful world is filled with pain and sorrow

As we close out the end of another year

Let’s remember the importance of why Christ came here

Edward L. Wright (c) 2017

Hear the Word of the Lord

Listen to Me-3

As I sat in my backyard on an autumn day to hear the word of the Lord, I quietly listened to birds chirping, nestled near a tree adjacent to my home. Normally, I have my cell phone with me when I’m sitting under my shaded pergola. I had forgotten to bring it with me; however, I decided to take a moment to unwind without it.

I’m at a point in my life, where I embrace whatever quiet time I get. Since I didn’t have the cell phone, I used this time to reflect on my blessings and to reexamine areas for improvement.

As I reminisced on my quiet time, I happened to read an adult Sunday School lesson entitled, “Listen to Me!”  The author discussed placing a moratorium on his usage of engaging in social media, e.g., Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook.

The author who is a preacher reiterated that preachers talk. However, he decided to wean himself off, by spending more time in silent conversation with God, rather than always talking. He stipulated that many folks talk too much! They want to be heard by expressing their views in order to draw more attention to themselves. We should hear the word of the Lord.

“During 2012, Eddie Murphy starred in a movie called, “A Thousand Words.” The movie received mixed reviews, but it struck a chord, with me. Eddie Murphy’s character Jack McCall loved to talk. He was an author’s agent who was an arrogant slick talker. Through a series of events in the movie, he finds out that he only has 1.000 words left to speak. After the 1,000th word, he will die. The point of the movie is not, “What would you say if you had only 1,000 words left?” Rather, the point is, “What can you hear, learn, and communicate when silence is forced upon you?”  When we talk to God, we generally use words. But have you ever had a silent conversation with God in that all He was listening to was your heart?

Psalm 85 is a prayer for restoration and revival. The psalmist is begging that God will return His people to their former glory. The prayer is a heartfelt lament asking God for specific favors. There is certainly nothing wrong with praying to God for specific needs. Those needs may be personal, congregational, or even national. The psalmist knows God will listen and respond because of His unfailing love. But the psalm does not stop there.

“I will listen to what the God the Lord says” (v.8, NIV). Phrases like this make some of us nervous. We all have heard people say, “God told me to do this…”Based on what they were told we often question the validity of their conversation with God. Like the man who said God told him to divorce his wife. I asked him, “Are you sure it was God you were listening to?” We should hear the word of the Lord.

Many contemporary Christians believe that God does not speak to us any longer. For years, I have heard statements like, “that was the God of the Old Testament and we serve the God of the New Testament.” Hmmm, does that imply there are two Gods? The fact of the matter is this: God has never stopped communicating with His people. Maybe we just get too busy to listen.

Most of us are familiar with the passage that says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). But how long has it been since you have actually done it? We live in a society that always seems to be in a rush and running late. A rereading of the psalms encourages us to slow down, meditate, and spend time with God. However, most of us are like the little “Energizer Bunny.”  We just keep going, and going, and going.

When I’m involved in the worship service, I see those who are frantically shuffling to get to their pews. Some enter the auditorium out of breath. There are some who routinely enter late wanting others sitting on the pew to move down.  I also see others people fixated on their smart phones texting or reviewing social media not focused on the moment, but focused somewhere else. What am I saying? If you haven’t figured that out, then you’re attention span is somewhere else.

It is impossible to give anyone our undivided attention when our attention is divided. If you don’t believe me, try to have a meaningful conversation with your spouse while watching a football, basketball, or baseball game. How can you expect to hear your spouse when the television’s volume is on full blast? You can’t listen if you aren’t still. And I don’t necessarily mean physical stillness. Sometimes we can be sitting perfectly still, in a quiet room, but we still aren’t still. We should hear the word of the Lord. A million other things can distract our mind. How can we expect to hear our God when our mind is going full blast?

Psalm 86 1, David wrote “Hear, O Lord, and answer me” (NHEB. Do we expect an answer when we pray? I’m not talking about an audible answer. Even in the Old Testament, God rarely spoke audibly and only to a few people. But God has always spoken through His Word, through nature, through His people, and through His Spirit. The problem isn’t that God’s not speaking, rather that we aren’t listening. To put it bluntly: It’s difficult to hear Him over the sound of our own voices.

Solomon wrote, “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words” (Ecclesiastes 5:2-3, NASB). These may be difficult words for preachers to read. Generally, their livelihood is talking

A great way to learn to listen to God is by learning to listen to others. Too often when we’re listening to someone else, we’re so busy formulating what we’re going to say that we may miss what is actually said. For example, have you ever given what you thought was a great response to someone only to have him or her ask, “Did you hear a word I said?” Our mouths might have been quiet while the other person was speaking, but our minds were incredibly noisy. To really hear what someone else is saying requires that listeners clear their mind, avoid distractions, and pay close attention. If this is true with our listening to others, what makes us think it’s any different with our God?

Quiet is difficult! Have you ever been in worship and the person leading prayer says, “Let’s have a moment of silence”  before the prayer? If that moment of silence lasts more than a moment, our minds start wandering, don’t they? Getting quiet before God not only involves our lips but also our minds.”

SOURCE:   Conversations with God, by Glenn Newton; 21stCentury Christian (2017)