Tag Archives: Obedience

Spiritual Listening: What Does it Look Like?

     Today’s Listening on YOUR Journey -post is a continuation of an earlier discussion of what I called A Magnificent Obsession: Listening for God’s Voice.

     One of my litmus tests for spiritual listening is: Does the voice I believe I heard line up with truth I know from scripture? The experience I’m sharing with you today illustrates how God spoke to me in a most practical—as well as corrective—way through a familiar Bible verse.

     I’m a visual learner, and probably many of you reading this post fall into that same category since it’s estimated approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners.[1]

     My primary learning style often surfaces as I read the Bible. A frequent prayer goes something like this: “Okay, God, I believe this is true, but would you please show me, what does this look like in my everyday life?”

     The Tuesday before Thanksgiving this year, I did some last-minute Costco shopping. The place was crazy busy, and I had to park at the far end of the lot. Rain poured from dark clouds as I walked into the superstore, which was packed with other last-minute holiday shoppers—a spattering of whom seemed quite grumpy.

     While walking into the store from the car, I recalled a time when I asked God the what does that look like… practical prayer question years earlier after reading a familiar verse found in Luke 6:31. Jesus said:

Do unto others as you would like them to do to you.

     The same day I asked God the question concerning Luke 6:31, I’d also made a trip to Costco. While shopping that particular day, I picked up a product, which later I determined wasn’t necessary. When I realized my error—naturally, on the far side of the store—I started to act as I’d been accustomed. Rather than returning the unwanted item to where I’d found it originally, I set it down on the nearest shelf.

Do unto others as you’d like them to do to you.

     The gentle prodding in my spirit was unmistakable. For the first time an awareness dawned that my action meant some employee would need to pick up my mistake. I realized if I were that employee, I would appreciate a considerate customer who accepted responsibility for dealing with her own wrong decision.

     So…I wheeled my cart to the other side of the store and delivered the unwanted product to its proper home.

     When it was time to take my cart of goods to my car, again I was reminded of another careless practice—not returning my empty cart to the designated location.

Do unto others as you’d like them to do to you.

     This time I thought about young employees who brave all types of weather to gather up empty shopping carts. This reminded me of my own children and some of the entry-level positions in which they’d worked.

     So…I returned my cart to the empty-shopping-cart corral, realizing, That’s the kind of consideration I’d like shown to my kids.

     Good grocery store etiquette may not be a spiritual discipline, but for me, returning an unwanted item to the right spot or returning an empty cart to the proper location became an act of spiritual obedience.

     The listening lesson I learned from this experience is that obedience to the voice of the Spirit in a small act—like returning an unwanted item or my empty cart at the grocery store—makes it easier to discern future spiritual listening experiences.

     A second realization is that this was a lesson God custom designed for me to learn. Because I feel this is right behavior God desires from me—applicable even on a rainy day in late November 2017—God may not be speaking in the same way to one of my fellow faith sojourners. My role as a spiritual listener is to listen to the divine voice spoken to me, obey and not to judge others.

     What about you? Has God spoken to you in a unique way? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings on your Listening journey…

Sue Reeve

  1. visualteachingalliance.com/

Save

Save

Saying “Yes” to God-Change

Guest Post from Stephen Robinson

Today’s post is written by Stephen Robinson, and is the second time he has been a guest contributor. During the past couple years, as I’ve grown to know Stephen and his sweet wife, Jamara, I’ve been impressed with their faith journey. Stephen manages my website and blog—doing what I have no desire, ability or gift to do. But, I not only appreciate his technical skills, I admire his perseverance, his willingness to listen with his heart to what God is saying and the way he loves God, his wife and three adorable daughters. Thanks, Stephen….Sue Reeve

     After several years in the same neighborhood, in the same home, worshipping at the same church, my wife and I began feeling unsettled in the community and church family we loved. Yet, moving didn’t make sense for many reasons. We would often pray for wisdom asking the Lord,

“If it is your will, we are ready to go wherever you lead us. We believe there must be more; this is not all you have planned for us. We feel called to do more.”

     Over the last three years I sent resumes all over the US and even had a couple of phone interviews with World Vision last July. We thought the Lord was moving us for sure! Instead, we stayed put. I found a great job working for an agency in Vancouver, B.C. that allows me to work from home. All the while, we continued feeling unsettled, praying and asking the Lord for guidance and direction.

     Fast forward to March of this year. I went with Pastor Gary to a meeting in Liberty Lake, and the whole ride over he was teasing me about moving my family to Liberty Lake to help them plant a church.

     My wife, Jamara, had a dozen reasons why none of it made sense. We have three daughters. Moving our oldest who is going into her junior year of high school didn’t make sense. Our younger two daughters were both going to be at the Charter Academy – finally 3 girls in 2 schools! We love Coeur d’Alene, our neighbors, boating on Hayden Lake. The list went on and on. She said if we were to move it would be a God thing, because she was content where we were.

     We agreed to pray about it.

     A couple weeks later Jamara came to me and said she felt in her soul God was calling us to move. Once we agreed, we decided not to look back. We listed our house high, 2nd highest among the comps in the area. Many had sat close to 30 days already. Our house had one showing, and twenty-four hours later we received a cash offer! Talk about confirmation of our obedience! The buyers are graciously giving us two weeks rent free after closing.

     Then, there was the home inspection. The requested fixes amounted to $20 and about a half hour of my time. The next obstacle: finding a home for our family with enough bedrooms, in the right neighborhood, with the right schools, and of course, would allow our two dogs. The rental market in our area is tight, especially in up and coming communities like Liberty Lake. By the grace of God, we stumbled upon a 4 bedroom, 2 bath-house in the right neighborhood, right schools, and they allow dogs! It is also just minutes from the location of our new church.

     We are thrilled to see what the Lord has for us in this next season of life. This journey started with an unsettled feeling we couldn’t shake, a prompting, a whole lot of prayer, and brought us eventually to a step of faith.

     This is my life verse that has guided our family through many seasons of life:

 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.

Jeremiah 29:11

     Praying you will be obedient to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in this season of your life.

Stephen Robinson

Save