The Listening God
Does God listen? As good Christians, we expect everyone here to say, “Of course He does.” After all, He promises to answer prayer in His Word, and God keeps His Word. Yes, God does answer prayer. To be honest, I do, and hopefully, each of us does struggle somewhat with the question, “Does God listen and answer prayer?” He is The Listening God!
In this devotion, we consider that The Listening God responds to every petition. Prayer is communication. That it is not speaking to God but with God. And as such, there are four activities for prayer.
- First—we speak
- Second—God listens
- Third—God speaks
- Fourth—we listen
The Listening God answers in many ways, but let us consider four ways:
I. YES (Mark 1:40-43, 45) The Man with Leprosy
- The man came to Jesus asking.
- The man said, “If You will.”
- Jesus moved with compassion.
- The Result was the glorification of God (v. 45). Sometimes God says “Yes” immediately so that His glory might be known immediately. Times and seasons are in His hand.
II. NOT YET (2 Chronicles 20:5-25) – The Battle
- Sometimes only by marching through it do we learn what we need to learn.
- v. 5-8 – Jehoshaphat was trying to remind God that He is on their side.
- v. 9-13 – Jehoshaphat attempted to inform God of what needed to be done for victory to happen.
- v. 14-17 – Jahaziel answers the prayer (v. 15 emphasize).
- Not Yet doesn’t mean it’s over.
- Not Yet doesn’t mean you need to suffer.
- Not Yet simply means – WAIT AND WATCH ME DO IT!
- Not Yet = tomorrow (v. 17)
- 19-25 – Obedience produced victory. God caused the victory without the people entering war.
III. I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER IN MIND (Daniel 3:16) – In Trouble
- Fire is part of My plan.
- Uses the flames to burn off the things that bind you.
- Uses the flame to invite the presence of the Lord. God can be with you in the middle of the flames, and if God is with you in the middle of the flames, it cannot and will not bother or harm you.
- Uses the flames to elevate you. The smell of the smoke was not on them. When God is next to you, you start smelling good.
- Uses the flames to glorify Himself (VS 28-29). Uses the flames to prosper you (v. 30).
IV. I CAN’T, or NO, YOU’RE OUTSIDE THE COVENANT (Jeremiah 14:7) – Sin is Vile
- We cannot go to God saying, “Forget about my iniquities for a blessed moment, and just bless me anyhow.”
- Are our sins many? This caused the prophet to not pray for the people because of their sins.
- 12 – God declares, “When they fast, I will not listen to their cry.”
- Isaiah 59:1-3 – God will not listen because of your sins. The reason why we miss growth opportunities to kingdom greatness is our sins that have caused God not to listen.
People of God: Understand, hear from the Throne, and listen to what God is speaking. God does not change! His arm is NOT so short that He cannot save, but we MUST understand His plan, His way of answering prayer, or else we will become discouraged, full of unbelief and confusion. But God is saying to us today: “Hear my voice. I am answering you. I am listening to you. Be in my covenant. Listen when I say YES. Listen when I say NOT YET. Listen when I say I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER IN MIND! And listen and watch when you are outside of the covenant!” The invitation, in this case, is to respond to come into covenant with Him through Jesus Christ. Through faith in Him, our sins are taken away, and we become the righteousness of God with all sins forgiven, past, present, and future. As children of God, born of Him, we will not make a practice of sin. Rather, we confess our sins and keep away from anything that might take God’s place in our hearts. Then we can be sure He hears us (1 John 5:14).