Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Listening and Speaking

I love the first paragraphs of Psalm 40 that speak of restoration. I can think of many, many times in my life when I have needed restoration in my relationship with God. There have been times of grief and times when I've just been so busy, I'm not praying and being attentive to God's presence in my daily life. But when the moment comes that my relationship with God is restored or renewed, it is a joyful experience...a moment when it feels like I could sing a new song (even though I don't have a terrific voice =).

I also think that it is interesting what the Psalmist says God desires and what God does not desire: "sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear." When I read that, I think that sometimes God wants us to stop doing so much and wants us to listen--to open up our ears and listen.

I am as guilty as anyone else in putting my own thoughts and desires onto God--eisegesis. And that is why it is imperative to stop and listen...to pray for discernment between what it is that we desire or think that is best and what God desires...and to know when both desires are one and the same.

Beyond sacrifice and offering, there is listening...and beyond listening, there is witnessing and sharing. "I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips...I have not hidden your saving help in my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation."

So perhaps today, we should pause for a moment to listen to God and look for those opportunities to share God's love with those around us.

Journey On...