Life Lessons

The Art of Listening


Discipleship 101
When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to The Rock that is higher than I~ Psalm 61:2
The above cry of David's heart was a prayer to God to lead David to The Rock that was higher than himself.

As men and women of God, do we lead those who are overwhelmed to The Rock?  We may listen, share, advise, encourage from The Word but ultimately we should lead them back to The Only Wise God - the Only One who has the ability to change their situation and/or their mindset.

Let's face it, it feels good to be used by God to help someone else.  However, we can actually come away being a little puffed up by it though.

The greatest "help" we can be to someone else, is to gently guide their thoughts back to The LORD and His most Divinely-effectual Word so they can STAND in faith.

This is Discipleship 101.


Cloistered-in Moments

I have a tendency to isolate when I go through troubled waters.  Not too long ago, I was reprimanded by a friend for doing so.  She meant well.  But, her words gnawed at me and caused me to question myself. 

We care about what others are going through and we want to help, so we have a tendency to think of isolating as a bad thing.  But, is it?

I sought The LORD about my "isolation tendencies" when going through a difficult time.

He reminded me that I withdraw so I can better hear Him because I desire true solace that only He, God Almighty, can provide me.

Even Jesus Christ often withdrew to lonely, wilderness places (Luke 5:16).  He took Himself away from His closest companions and their opinions to seek the Wisdom of His Father.  He sought the peace that came from those cloistered-in moments. 

Our Father speaks in a still, small voice.  How can we hear Him in our troubled moments if our mouth is flapping and our ears are hearing all kinds of outward noise?

So, I withdraw from others to be sequestered in with my Abba.
Come to Me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  ~ Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 11:28
The next time we think someone who is isolating themselves is not doing a good thing, may we realize that maybe they are teaching us a valuable life lesson. 



Don't Just Listen, Hear

Seasons come.  Seasons go.  Climate-wise.  Life-years wise.

God Almighty tells us to be present (ready) in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2) - ready at a moment's notice to bring correction or an exhortation of encouraging words to another.

But, how do we be "present" - always ready in a "present" moment for The Spirit of God within us to do His thing through us?  Have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, "Man, I should have said this or that"?  I know I sure have.

One of the keys to being ready in season and out is to pray in The Spirit.  A lot.  Conversing with Abba in His language makes us mindful of the spiritual atmosphere around us, keeps us in-tune to His leading, and allows Wisdom and Understanding straight from His Heart to flow to others.

And, we must fully engage in the art of hearing.

Have you ever talked to someone who, after you finished sharing
your heart, move onto another subject or tell you about their own experience?  They leave you feeling that what you shared is unimportant; they leave you feeling you were not heard.  To me, that is one of the most deflating feelings in the world and causes me to shut right down.

And it is certainly is not how God is.

He is ever-present in our lives.
He never changes the subject on us or ignores our heart's deepest yearning to be understood.

And we are created in His Image.  Therefore, when we are in conversation with others, we should TUNE-IN NOT OUT; we should LISTEN WITH OUR PHYSICAL EARS, BUT HEAR WITH OUR SPIRITUAL ONES, and SEEK TO UNDERSTAND what the other is truly saying or not saying as they communicate.  If we are not concerned about our response - only about what the other is sharing - and we have been communicating with God in The Spirit, His Heart will be poured out through us to the other person.  Wisdom, understanding, love, and concern will flow.  For that is Who God is.

Thus, we will be able to fulfill 2 Tim. 4:2 and others will know us a safe person to share their most intimate life circumstances with. They will also know that the words we respond with will be from God Almighty Himself.

I hope you don't just listen to these words but "hear" them.


Hi Grace. Where Are You?

The Beatles sang, "All you need is love."  Sounds good.  Even seems to go along with Scripture.  "Love your neighbor as yourself", etc.

I think we need a heart FULL of Grace toward one another.  If we are truly walking in Love, then Grace will abound. You can't really Love without implementing Grace.

We sit alongside each other in church, at work, at home.  But, is Grace found?  Rarely.  Divorces happen because we lack Grace. We bash one another, complain about one another, kick one another when we are down by our words because there is no Grace in our hearts.  "Shh...I'm just sharing this about them so you can pray."  Oh, Dear God!  Where is Grace upon the heart and lips of Christ-followers today?

This sign hangs above my dresser.  I read it many times a day and have implemented this in my life.  It is Matthew 5:48 (Message).  Our God is Perfect and He is most Generous and Gracious toward His children, and we are told to be like Him.  So, we too, are to be Generous and Gracious toward each other.

Some Christ-followers aren't even generous and gracious toward God!  As soon as things become contrary to what they would like in their life, they bad-mouth God or even worse, they banish Him from their lives.  And they want to know why there is trouble in their lives yet never associate it with their lack of Graciousness toward God.

May others begin to see Christlikeness in us by us being Gracious toward one another.  In this society full of disdain and intolerance for one another's differences, may Grace ever flow from us.  Then will our Light be seen.  Then our lives will BE the witness they are supposed to be.


The Guiltiness of Pleasure

A phrase used in our society today is "guilty pleasure".  If you google the meaning of this phrase, various interpretations are found.  I think this one is the best: "something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt".  It's usually something you wouldn't tell someone else about.

Oh, how our flesh wants what it wants. And all "guilty pleasures" starts with a thought: I think I'll watch such-and-such tonight.

We are forewarned in Scripture in many places.  I'll mention only one:  Prov. 25:28 says, "Whoever has no rule over his own (body & mind), is like a city broken down without walls."

Guilty pleasure.

Guilty.  Pleasure.

Guilty.  Pleasure.  =  Sin.  Against.  God.  


Prayer for Our Own Needs

I have been contemplating as to why we NEED to have OTHERS pray for us.   Why is it that we feel OUR faith alone is not sufficient to bring forth the answers we need or the miracles needed?

I understand what it says in James 5:14-15 about calling on the Elders.

I understand that sometimes our circumstances are so overwhelming or that we've stood for so long with no results so, therefore, we seek "power help" from others.

But should going to others be the norm or should it be the exception? 

      Could it be that we are putting our faith in other people's faith
      rather than in God, Himself?

      Could it be that we don't read The Word of God consistently and  
      therefore we don't know God's Covenant Promises to us?

      Could it be that we are clueless as to how much God loves us and 
      desires to answer us?

   What kind of parent would we be if our child cried out to us for help
   but we ignore them?  That is NOT the kind of parent God is.  Just the
   opposite is true of God.

      Look at the account of Manasseh as recorded in 2 Chronicles 33:1-
     13. Look at what God - THE Father of fathers, The Ultimate Parent -
      did for him.

When you pray a prayer of agreement with ONE other person, it is answered by God.  Read Matthew 18:19.

      We don't need many people.  We need ONE trusted, Spirit-led
      Believer to stand in agreement with us.

Our Abba, The Father, desires to answer us!  We do NOT need to be asking for prayer from many.  Read Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24;       John 16:23-24; 1 John 5:14-15.

      But, if we do ask many for prayer, then ALL need to be in agreement
      as to what we are asking for and believing the answer to be.

If we need to have someone else's faith added to ours, then that one Godly, Spirit-led person's faith, coupled with our own, will be sufficient.

What human beings do need is to not feel so alone when we go through trials and tribulations.  We need to connect so that we are loved on and supported.  But, THAT is a whole different subject. 

1 comment:

  1. What a lesson Diane, what a lesson. I had to read it three times and am going to copy it for future read...thanks.


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