I don’t know if it’s the weather or the fact that we’ve run out of all the good Halloween candy, but this rainy, cold November afternoon is sucking the life out of me. Last week I would have run to the kitchen and three Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups later I would have been blogging like a fiend. But now all we have out there is the kind of candy that isn’t worth the calories.

Since all that chocolate isn’t surging through my system and giving me the energy I need to write, I guess we’ll have to make do with whatever is going on inside my head at the moment, and that is a precious small amount. Mostly I’m thinking about one thing: listening to God. Listening and then responding to God, specifically.

Of course I’m getting ready to work on my next manuscript, and the book is all about listening to God. I’ve been interviewing friends and looking up verses and researching different authors’ thoughts on the matter. It makes sense that this is on my mind.

But also, there’s a decided upswing in the amount of conversation between God and myself. The more I listen, the more He talks. I’ve gotten an earful. This is the verse that is stuck with me this morning:

Isaiah 31:21

It’s a beautiful verse, isn’t it? The thought that God will give us exactly the directions we need comforts me. I hope it comforts you, too! But if there’s one thing I learned from Howard Hendricks’ book (Living by the Book), it’s this: you cannot take one verse out of its context. We must consider the whole passage. So here it is, Isaiah 30:19-22:

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!” 

Other than being totally embarrassed about that last part there, and setting aside the fact that I don’t actually live in Jerusalem, I see a couple of important things. First of all, God is very involved in our lives if we let Him. He cares for us, He responds when we call for Him, and He wants to give us the directions we need.

But I also see that we have a responsibility here. If we want God involved in our lives, we need to respond. We need to get rid anything we’ve made more important than God. We cannot keep our idols and expect God to overlook them when He gives us directions.

Easy to type; hard to live. Now, on this rainy, freezing, dark November day, we are all excused to go and think about what idols may be in our lives and what we need to do with them.

Please feel free to nap, as well. All this spiritual work can be exhausting!

4 Comments on Hearing from God: Simple, but Not Easy

  1. memyselfandkids.com
    November 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm (3 years ago)

    I am finding it hard to get past the note about 3 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
    P.S. I have spent a nice amount of time in Jerusalem and hope to visit again sooner rather than later. To put it simply – it’s a special place.

  2. Jessie Clemence
    November 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm (3 years ago)

    It must be, Larry. It must be. How many times does God speak directly to His people there? Eric and I hope to visit someday.

    And I’ve never eaten three of the big ones at the same time–just the little Halloween ones. I think. 🙂

  3. Cheri Fields
    November 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve eaten 3 big ones at a time often enough. 🙂
    Your title of “listening ears” had me read to hear about crumb crunchers; what it actually was about was even better.
    LOL on the embarrassing part. Sometimes God reminds me of medical people, no sense of delicacy or euphemisms for Him! I suppose it makes sense since He’s the one who designed us…
    I love the verse about God whispering behind us. I also love how you’ve learned to look at context, it is indeed vital.
    Now, I’ve got to get the kids’ school time done, polish my own post, and remember to get to your questionnaire. I’d almost forgotten about it! Scratch the “almost”…

  4. Jessie Clemence
    November 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks, Cheri! Good luck with that to-do list! Don’t let my questionnaire stress you out– I get what I get and I don’t get upset. 🙂