I Will Listen
We usually begin our homeschooling day with Morning Time. For the pixies and I, this usually entails reading Scripture or a Bible story together. I am continually amazed at how the stories I heard as a child can still bring tears to my eyes.
It happened again yesterday morning as we gathered around the fireplace. Brielle was playing Jenga on the floor, Zion was building Scrabble words, and Lyric was nursing a cold. I opened The Child’s Story Bible and turned to where we had last left off: "Glory On The Mountain".
The girls sat enthralled as I read how Jesus took the three disciples that were nearest to Him up to a mountain. Peter, James, and John had no idea the wonder that would transpire on the mountain that day. Before their very eyes, Jesus transfigured. Scripture says that His clothes became sparkling white, like snow. The face of Christ glowed as bright as the sun. There was no question they were in the midst of glory.
If there was ever any doubt in these disciples minds that Jesus was the Son of God, that skepticism lifted as high as the peaks surrounding them. This was the the Son of God. God Himself spoke from heaven. I’ve heard the words He uttered many times, but for some reason yesterday, when I was reading the story, the words seemed to jump from the page:
“This is My beloved Son. LISTEN TO HIM!”
Listen to Him. I started crying, the pixies looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
I’ve been reading through the Psalms, and there is one phrase that keeps leaping out to me from the pages. Over and over again, the Psalmist records the words of the Lord asking His people to listen to Him.
“I answered you in the secret place of thunder...O Israel, if you would but listen to me!” (Psalm 81:7-8)
“But my people did not listen to my voice.” (Ps. 81:11)
“Oh that my people would listen to me.” (Ps. 81:13)
Out of all the things the God of Heaven could have said to his disciples on the mountain as He was transfigured, He chose to affirm His deity, this is MY Son, and He commanded His disciples to LISTEN to Him.
Do I listen to the voice of God?
This is a question I have been asking myself as I read through the Psalms. I have been praying that the Lord would help me to really hear His voice. The Bible says His sheep hear His voice and recognize Him, their Shepherd. “I Will Listen” has been my prayer of response.
The story of the transfiguration sealed the deal for me that morning. Listening to Christ is not something I can take lightly in my walk with God. The voice of God commanded it from heaven. I need to take head and listen.
Here are three simple ways I am trying to make sure that I Will Listen.
1) Slow My Breath Down
The demands of each day are unending. When I lay my head on the pillow each night, my mind races with all that I have not accomplished. But even more disturbing is the realization that I could have done more to slow down. Take a deep breath. Listen.
Pauses are good. Needed. Beneficial. It is not wrong to set aside the to-dos to take a time out. Often that slow breath is life-giving. I feel His Spirit invigorate me with strength and wisdom. I become more focused, more ready to hear from Him. Even if it’s a moment on the chair, in front of the fire, I am pausing long enough to receive a word from the Lord.
2) Be Still and Know
The result of slowing my breath down is that I am able to be still long enough to know. Know what? That He is God. The beautiful words of Psalm 46:10 remind us to cease striving. “Be still and know that I am God.” It is this assurance of Who He is that enables my heart to receive the truth of what He tells me.
“...but that they should not be fearful, nor fretful and impatient, or restless and tumultuous; but be quiet and easy, resigned to the will of God, and live in an assured expectation of the appearance of divine Providence in their layout.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible)
I will never listen to God if I don’t rest in Who He is. My fretful heart can find peace knowing He is a God Who promises His presence is with us, no matter where we go. My impatience can find forbearance when I recall that it is His kindness and patience with me that leads to repentance. My restlessness will find a home in the One Who will never leave or forsake me.
I will listen because I know Who He is, God: The Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Creator, Sustainer, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He roars, and I will listen.
3) Come Before Him Unveiled
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.”
I wonder how many times I come before Him truly unveiled? I usually come with my list of needs, wants, hurts, ready to pour out the things that have veiled me throughout the day. But what if I put those things aside? If I just came bare, naked...only wanting Him, His presence, His glory. That’s how Moses entered the Holy of Holies, by removing the veil...nothing came before Him and the glory of the Invisible God.
I cannot behold His glory without being changed. It is impossible to glimpse the I AM without saying, “I Will Listen.” Unveiled before Him, He transforms.
Lilias Trotter puts it this way,
“Bare absolute contact with God’s Presence--if our times alone with Him were but that all the time, they would be mighty in their outcome.”
As the disciples came down off that mountain after the transfiguration, I imagine their experience to be one too sacred to share. What transpired was holy...unutterable. How can mortal man put into words the glory beheld? Their ears were tuned to listen.
I finished reading to the pixies,
“It was too precious to be spoken of lightly. Never would the disciples forget what they had seen! Never again did Jesus seem to them only a man. They never forgot that glorious figure--His face shining like the sun, and His clothing so dazzlingly white that they could hardly look at Him. After this, to them Jesus was the Lord of glory.”
This is My Son, the King of Glory. Listen to Him.
I Will Listen, Lord. Help me to slow my breath down. To cease striving and know you are God. May I come before you unveiled, my list of all I want put aside in order to hear Your voice and know what it is that You want. I will listen.