“Listen.”

Start With Prayer:

Dear God, please help me to hear you, and understand your message for me.

Amen

The Beans:

The Background:

In the Old Testament God’s people were sent into exile in Babylon. God raised up Jeremiah, and other prophets, to speak to His people … directing them, comforting them, and even warning them during this time. (They just weren’t the best listeners … hence the whole exile thing).

Today’s verse comes from a letter Jeremiah wrote, on God’s behalf, to these exiles.

The Verse:

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

The Fill:

What’s the point?:

This verse may sound familiar to you, but if you’re like me, you may not have realized the extremely horrible circumstances surrounding these words.

Which when you think about it, actually gives these words so much MORE POWER.

God spoke today’s verse in order to comfort people in exile, people who were forced to leave their homes and live in conditions that we simply can’t fathom. So if these words promise that God can comfort, rescue and deliver people living through THOSE challenges … can you imagine what He can do for our struggles and problems?

So, YES, God will deliver you too, and has amazing plans for your life as well … BUT … in order to discover those amazing plans, you have to SEEK.

The reason God’s people were in exile was because they had turned away from God. They had STOPPED LISTENING! They were convinced that they could do life better on their own, and well, we see how that goes for them.

It’s why God, through the prophet Jeremiah, is so careful to say, “You’ll find me, but you GOTTA SEEK ME!”

This is the part of prayer where we shut up, and listen.

Because, girlfriends, just like those people long ago, we too, forget to listen sometimes. We too get so caught up in doing life on our own power, our own way, that forget to seek His wisdom.

The Steam:

What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?

So how do we seek? How exactly do we HEAR God speak?

Well … It’s that Christian song  or hymn that pops in your head, reminding you of a truth you need, at just the right moment.

It’s the bible verse you suddenly remember, or sermon you recall hearing once.

It’s the sense of peace you feel as you read a devotional or Bible Study.

It’s that bible verse graphic that stops you dead in your tracks as you scroll through your newsfeed on social media, causing the pool of tears to well up in your eyes.

Some may call these little “happenstance” moments.

But for those of us who are purposely seeking God, we know exactly what they are.

They aren’t happenstance at all, they are God speaking directly to your heart, as He watches, thrilled that you paused long enough to see or hear them.

So … here’s where YOU come in. The math is simple. The more you fill your heart with His truth on a daily basis, the bigger the library of resources God has to pull from, to speak to you when you need it!

Two quick ways to fill your heart with His Truth every day:

* Listen to christian radio from time to time, even if it’s not your favorite, give it a shot every once in a while. I promise you, you’ll be shocked at how His truth buries itself in your heart through these lyrics.

* Listen to, or read, devotions, (like The Fill,) EVERY DAY, so that His truth seeps into the darkest corners of your heart.

These two, and many other ways of filling your heart with God’s truth, are simply preparation. You are stocking yourself up for those times when you’ll need to be reminded of them.

SEEKING becomes easier and easier, the more filled you are with His truth. So get in those daily habits that will prepare you to hear God speak.