Are You Listening?

Are You Listening

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

My husband and our children are people watchers. It is very hard to carry on a conversation with them in a crowded place. Holding their attention is almost impossible. It is an automatic impulse for their eyes to drift soon their bodies are present but their mind is someplace else. When asked, they can acknowledge you were speaking and maybe even the string of words that were said but the content is lost in distractions. People long to be heard. Designed in the image of the Living God, who also seeks to be heard otherwise would not speak to us. Does God still speak? Yes, He does. He whispers through His Word to us. He has a still small voice that penetrates our heart in the darkness. The Lord will script dreams for those who desire to know more. He is attentive in listening to our every word. He will audibly speak on occasion only to be dismissed by a faithless heart. Friend, God has a voice and uses it. The real question is “are you listening”? Am I listening?

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

It is interesting to note that in the beginning of this passage two things are noted. Jeremiah is confined. He is in the courtyard of the guard. Close to prison but not in the prison. God wants the prophet’s attention. He removes all distractions. God wants to be heard. Secondly, this is not the first time that God has given this message to the prophet. It is the second time. He is trying to explain the restoration of Israel. To reveal His Plan and Faithfulness to His People. He told him once but now God is telling Jeremiah again. Don’t you love God’s Intensity in pursuing us? The message is repentance. It is always repentance. The call to turn back to the Lord, not only for renewal and restoration. He is ready for revival. The Lord wants to show us, as He did Jeremiah, great and unsearchable things that we do not know that will release His Kingdom here on earth.

Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV) This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse. “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.The Word of God is powerful. It is useful in interpreting God’s Messages to us. However, seldom is it taken in context. My kids are pickers. When I am cooking, they have their hands all in my food. As I prepare the dishes for serving, I am constantly fending off fingers trying to get one last taste. We approach the Word of God that way many times. Rather than savoring the whole, it is human nature to pick at it. Taking the choicest morsels and promises, but never really digging into the meat. There are some things revealed in this passage that are important to know when it comes to hearing the voice of God and experiencing all He has to offer.

  1. God has a timeline. “When seventy year are completed…I will…” Faith in God requires faith in His Timing. This is a hard lesson to learn when in the midst of a trial. This too shall pass – when the work of the Lord is complete and not a moment sooner. Patience is required to obtain every promise that God has for you. He has a prescribed time. The Word of God tells us that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
  2. God has a plan. According to Psalm 139:16, our life is completely scripted before our first breath. The good and bad times are prerecorded which means that God has already provided for every need and want in our life according to His Plan. We have been given every spiritual blessing. It is available to us by faith. We must surrender our life to Jesus Christ – He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. By doing so, and yoking our life to Him, we begin to engage in God’s Plan and stop wasting our time on useless and worthless endeavors. All things work together for the good of those who believe God has a plan and are willing to commit their life – mind, body and soul to having it.
  3. God has a purpose. You will never stop setting for less until you believe that there is something more. God plans to prosper you. He has a plan that includes a future and hope. Please note – God will not do in the present anything that will compromise your future. Also, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” His purpose is the driving force behind the masterpiece in progress. The impossible purpose predestined for our life visualized only in our dreams is possible in Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, we can do nothing to accomplish it.
  4. God has made a way. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Could it be possible that the isolation, struggle and confinement you feel is on purpose…divine purpose? Everything we long for is found in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. God is constantly calling to us. He is beckoning us closer to our purpose. Our dream. Our desire. The very thing that will fulfill us giving us the rich and satisfying life that Christ died for us to have. We call on the Lord, but do we seek Him to find Him is the real question. Wholeheartedness is required. All of me for all of Him. I must decrease so that He can increase and abound in and through me.
  5. God is faithful. The message to Jeremiah never changed. God’s Plan to Israel would most definitely come to pass. He just kept repeating Himself until His Servant heard Him. God’s Promise and Plan for you is the same. God is not a man. He doesn’t lie or change His Mind. It doesn’t matter what you do or do not do. His Goodness and Unfailing Love still are constant pursuit of your heart. God’s Faithfulness is uncompromising. It is our faithfulness that poses the greatest challenge and risk to us. What is God speaking to you today? I assure you, whether you hear Him or not, He is definitely trying to tell you something. Something important. Something secret. Something that you will want to hear. Are you listening?

Psalm 85:7-9 (NIV) Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him that his glory may dwell in our land.

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