First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Are we listening?

May 2, 2017

Ever have the hair on the back of your neck feel like it is standing straight up? I have. There have been moments when I was near unseen danger and something internal activated the 'neck hair stand straight' button. Call it intuition, extrasensory perception, the Holy Spirit or anything you want, it is a bit freaky when it occurs. Especially after the fact when you realize a great tragedy was averted because you paid attention to the feeling. What would have happened had you blazed forward and ignored the subtle change? 

    Our word from the Word of God comes out of the book of wisdom Proverbs 22. King Solomon, perhaps the most wisdomatic person to ever live offered us some direction. (Wisdomatic, did I just create a new word?) Probably not.... It appears that when we offer tangible things to God, quality returns to us. Humility and healthy fear (respect and awe) are our offerings to God that activate holy rewards boomeranging to us.

    God desires our hearts to be focused solely toward him. When we are able to seek the heart of God and lay our own selfish desires aside, the rewards of God are activated. You look confused. You want to tell me that "God is good all the time". And I want to say, "All the time, God is good." We would both be right. Something occurs when we submit to God's glory and authority. God is good all the time but when we choose to acknowledge God's holiness a whole other layer of connection occurs.  We bow in the face of our sovereign God and allow our hearts to empty out so that God can fill us with the very best things. 

    Much like the 'hair standing straight' on the back of our neck is the sense when we are standing in the nearness of a holy God. We know something has changed and the feeling is strong. We can pay attention to this feeling or ignore it. The Spirit is in full 'get our attention' mode and wants us to discern what God is trying to communicate to us. Are we listening?

    The benefits of bowing and adoring God come back to us in riches, honor, and life. I would not equate riches with money so much but more like prosperity. Our lives become richer and fuller. Who doesn't desire a life filled with good things? Who doesn't want to claim and own a growing relationship with God? Who doesn't want to have that internal sense of the Spirit when we are in situations that demand direction?  All these thoughts are predicated on whether we'll listen. The word of God speaks to us and we read the instruction but then must choose to act upon it. Are we listening to God? Sure hope so. It will bring a fullness to our lives that cannot be found in any other place.

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