How to Tune your Ear to God

How to Tune Your Ear to God

Can I ask you a question? Are you listening to God? Are you listening to God exactly where you are in your life right now? As I often say, God is not silent or mute. He is a speaking God.

Have you ever had a child in their teenage years, and you are telling them things and they are just completely closed off? They are not listening at all so you could talk all day but they’re not hearing anything. When our children were young, we would often tell them something and they would hear but you realized they weren’t registering what you were saying. Then a perfect stranger would come over to the house and say exactly what you said to them and then the children would say, “Did you hear that, Mom? Did you hear that, Dad? Wasn’t that brilliant? But you had already told them a thousand times. We all have that ability not to listen sometimes.

In Psalm 95, we read a story written by David and a psalm is basically a song or a prayer.

Sometimes we can become so numb to God speaking, or we can think He doesn’t speak because we’ve been to church so often and He hasn’t. We’ve had prayer times and heard nothing, and we come to a point where we begin to live our lives and say to ourselves that God doesn’t speak. God doesn’t guide. God doesn’t lead.

When I talk about God speaking, I’m not talking about hearing things. I am talking about hearing things in a deeper place than just with our ears in the content of our hearts.

In Psalm 95, it says:

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your ancestors tested me,
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they do not regard my ways.’
Therefore in my anger I swore,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’

This is a magnificent passage of Scripture. There are so many things that speak to us in our modern life and my prayer is that some of you would hear God so clearly and loudly in the areas of your life that you need to that you would make some significant change because God has spoken to you.

When we read this passage of Scripture, there is an invitation to praise or to worship God. This is followed by some reasons for the praise. What is praise? Praise is saying to God, ‘This is who you are, and I am acknowledging who you are in my prayer life.’

When I teach people how to pray, I use the acronym PERSONAL. The very first letter in PERSONAL stands for the word perspective and, in this example, perspective means when we praise God, we get perspective on who we are, because we see ourselves in the light of God.

I often start my prayer by saying to God, “God, you made the whole universe. You made the whole earth. And here am I’m just struggling to get through my day. I cannot grow hair on my head. Lord, God, I’m limited. You are everywhere.”

Immediately we get perspective. At the beginning of this Psalm, David says, “This is an invitation to praise.” This Psalm was more than likely sung when they were entering the temple to worship God. In Psalm 95, verse 1, it says:

O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

So immediately it says, “Come on, everybody, let’s worship God.”

When I go to my personal prayer each day this is one of the very first things I say to myself, “Come on, Bruce. We are going to pray.”

If you go to a Catholic Mass, at the very beginning, there is an invitation. “Come on, everybody.”

If you go to a Praise and Worship Service, what’s the very first thing you hear? There is an invitation, “Come on, everybody, we are going to worship God.”

In Psalm 95, verse 2, it says:

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

We then see that there are reasons for praise – thanksgiving!!

In verses 3-7, it says:

For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

What we see in this Psalm is an invitation, “Come on everybody, let’s worship.”

I have heard this Psalm read in Church on a regular basis and to be honest with you, I never understood it. We go to church or we come into our personal time to talk to God at home and we enter a time of praise of God, ‘God, you made everything. You are king.’ Then, for many of us, we just stop there, never thinking that God would speak to us.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,

Don’t close down. Don’t harden your hearts because God might want to say something to you.

When you sit down to pray today, are you open to God speaking to you about your life exactly where you are? About your circumstance? About your future? About your money? About your family? About your work? About how you’re spending your time? Are you open to God speaking to you about your future?

This Psalm is saying, don’t close off to God speaking to you because God can change your life.

Are there areas in your life where you face difficulty, struggle or challenges? Are there times when you don’t remember what God has done for you because God has done things for you in the past? Do you always face the negativity of the current problem, without realizing that God is with you? Are you fundamentally saying, “I don’t trust you to look after me, God? I don’t trust you.”

So often we doubt that God will look after us. We doubt that God would speak to us. In our modern world, we doubt that God would communicate with us. We think maybe God communicates with someone else, but God won’t come to me.

Oh, that today you would listen to his voice!

Oh, that today God might speak to you.

How many of us need to look back and see what God has done and tell ourselves that God is in charge in the midst of the circumstances we are in right now. God is looking after us. God has our future assured. God is saying to you, “It is a walk of faith,” but you are allowed to look back and remember what God did. Our ministry is a living testament to looking back and seeing what God has done. He will do it again, and he will do it again.

God is at work.

In Exodus, just when the Israelites are about to go into the Promised Land, their lack of faith prevented them from inheriting what God had for them. After 40 years, as they are about to enter the Promised Land, they send in twelve spies ahead of them. Ten of the spies come back and say, “We can’t do it. Their soldiers are too big.” This shows us that even after 40 years, there was still a fight to enter the Promised Land.

We have always got to fight for our Promised Land.

You want a great marriage. You’ve got to fight for it.

You want to be a great parent. You’ve got to fight for it.

You want to have a good business. You’ve got to fight for it.

Our future or our Promised Lands are always occupied.

If we enter our Promised Land, based on our own ability and our own skill, we probably won’t be as successful as we could be with God. However, if we live with confidence in what God has done, if we say, “I’m hearing what God is saying…”

‘Oh if today you would hear his voice.’

“I’m hearing His voice based on all that He’s done. He’s the creator. He’s the Lord. And He can work in my life. God can work in our circumstances right now.”

The Israelites kept testing and quarreling with God because they wouldn’t look back at what God had already done so God didn’t take them into the Promised Land.

Today, maybe that is you. Maybe you need to ask, “Where do I need to trust that God, who has looked after me in the past, will look after me in the future, no matter what I’m going through. Maybe it’s you who must open and unplug your ears to God who may have a better, bigger, different direction for you in your life.

God might be asking you to be still and be comforted by His love. God might be asking you to know His love more deeply in your life. God might be asking you to do something, but if you approach your prayer time with a thought that God doesn’t speak, that God is not interested in talking to me, that God doesn’t work in my life, then you’ll never inherit the Promise Land that God has individually planned out for every one of us.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice in your heart.

What might God be wanting to say to you today? Exactly where you are. Not to everyone, but to you.

I believe your best is yet to come and when you look back on your life and see all the things that have happened, remember God has things to say to you.

What might God say to you if you acknowledge Him today and say, “I’ve come ready to worship. I acknowledge you as the creator and sustainer of all things. I acknowledge you as King and Lord who is first in my life. Now speak God, I’m open to whatever you want to say.”

What God might say to you today?

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Valerie Gonzalez
2 months ago

The WORD OF GOD IS FREE. Tell me how lavish are you living?

Jennie Kunkel
2 months ago

Yes God I will listen and follow you.

Heather Ramatsui
2 months ago

Amen

Lydia
2 months ago

I needed to read this today,, thank you for putting these thoughts into words so eloquently. I believe it will help me when I worship and pray to the Lord. May God bless you, your family and your ministry richly.

sharon Traverso
2 months ago

hi.. my name is Sharon Traverso.. first time participating in lent.. not catholic but christian, God put this on my heart this year… everything was going as planned then u started ur word on Forgiveness…. Absolutely never ever a problem with forgiveness ! Then as i prayed and worshiped the very next day…..found myself unable to ever forgive my husband?! my 19 yr old daughter died in a horrific car accident 10 yrs ago.. 4 children married at 19 for 37 years… My husband of all four children said to me out of the blue” get over it” move on…..??… Read more »