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Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?
February 25, 2013 Dr. Karl Benzio

February 25, 2013

The Lighthouse Network Team is excited to be celebrating our 4th anniversary of Stepping Stones Daily Devotional.  We have been overwhelmed by how God has used the simple truths of this devotional to impact the lives of thousands of people every day.  We can truly see God’s hand in its growth and success.  Thank you all for your desire to grow in your daily walk with Jesus and for pursuing spiritual maturity as a cornerstone of your life.  Stepping Stones is dedicated to sharing key truths with you everyday, bathed in prayer, and rooted in God’s Word.   We are also happy to have large group of new Stepping Stones Daily Devotional readers joining our family this month through our on going partnership with Vision Video, a christian video company that strives to show how God has worked among His people over the centuries.   Thanks to all the Stepping Stones readers for your dedication to reading Stepping Stones everyday, introducing your friends to this resource, and sharing it through your social media outlets.   We truly enjoy your comments, ideas and thoughts and we encourage you to email us at devotions@LighthouseNetwork.org.

Transformational Thought
By now, you should know I really push decision-making as the most important skill you and I could ever develop. I have 3 awesome daughters aged 20, 18, and 12 years old. They’re really great kids, and (usually) I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. But all parents wonder at times about the decisions their children make. When mine choose impulsive, shortsighted, me-centered, immediately gratifying, or flat out “what were you thinking” wrong decisions, they certainly weren’t listening to the advice I gave them.

Then to whom were they listening, if not to my words? And why were they listening to that advice? That “advisor” doesn’t love them as much as I do … doesn’t know them as well as I do … doesn’t want the best for them as much as I do … won’t risk it all for their safety and survival like I will. How dumb can my kids be, accepting advice from peers, people, or media that function like a random decision-spewing slot machine that is minimally invested in them?

WOW, glad I finally fixed my kids and let them know who to follow! Now, what about you? When you make decisions, whose instructions are you following? You will make between over 10,000 decisions per day … seriously. And that is actually a conservative estimate. As you make those decisions, to which voice will you listen? Will it be the messages from this crazy world, from some politician, or from the latest TV gurus spouting their newly discovered mantras about where happiness is found? Does Satan’s brainwashing tickle your fancy; do his impostors get you off stride? How about your flesh and its “MY kingdom come, my will be done” agenda? Or do you seek to hear your loving Father, His instruction manual, The Holy Bible, and the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice?

In today’s passage, God is lamenting the fact that no one is listening. You can hear the sadness in His heart as He speaks these words. He pleads with His people: Please listen to Me!  Not for His benefit, but theirs.

He is speaking to you too! Why? Because He loves you and wants to save you from hardship and its consequences. We parents give our kids instructions and pointers so they can enjoy long term fulfillment and satisfaction. Well, God actually knows more than any parent. He sees and knows the future. He created you, so He knows exactly what you need and the way to meet that need.

Jesus said, “My sheep, listen to My voice.” These words were directed to His people and came from the love in His heart. God wants all of His children to listen before it’s too late.

Today, listen to God during your prayer time … and throughout the day. The Holy Spirit is constantly teaching, guiding, coaching, and warning us. God wants us to talk to Him, and to listen to His response. Practice being still. Clear the clutter that muffles and interferes with God’s voice. Open The Holy Bible and “read” His voice. It’s all about choices. Whose voice you listen to is your decision, so choose well.

Prayer
My Father and my Lord, I am guilty of listening to some other voice and giving it, not You, lordship over my life. Please forgive me. I know You have so much You are telling me through Your Holy Spirit in me, through The Holy Bible, and through my circumstances. Please help me open my heart, and tune my mind to Your frequency. I know Your plans for me are way better than the ones I have for myself. So in that moment of temptation, please give me eyes that see and follow You. I pray this in the name of the perfect listener, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! … But no, my people wouldn’t listen … Oh, that my people would listen to me! Psalm 81:8, 11, 13

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow meJohn 10:27

He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening. Psalm 22:24

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