Listening to Jesus
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.”
Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV)
Way back in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses told the Israelites they should listen to a prophet who would follow him in the future. Who was this? In Acts 3:20-23 the Apostle Peter explains this verse was actually pointing to Jesus Christ. Even from the time of Moses God was telling his people they needed to listen to Jesus, his very Son through whom he reveals himself to humanity. He wants us to listen to the one through whom the whole vast universe was created, yet also came to this earth to change people’s lives and transform all of human history. But how can we listen to him?
Here are five ways:
1. We can listen to Christ through prayer. Through Jesus God listens to us when we pray, but do we allow enough time for him to answer? We have two ears and only one mouth, but sometimes it’s as if it’s the other way round. Did you know the word “hear” appears more often in the Bible than the word “speak”? When we’re praying we need to pause, allow silences for God to speak to us. We need to have the attitude of Samuel who, when God called him, said, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (I Samuel 3:10).
2. We can listen to Christ through studying his word. Christ himself is the very word of God (John 1:1, 14). We need to study the scriptures prayerfully, asking God to give us understanding to see how they reveal Christ and help draw us closer to him (John 5:39-40). Jesus alone is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
3. We may be able to listen to Christ through direct vision or revelation. There are numerous examples in the Bible of God revealing things to his servants through visions of one kind or another, so there is no need to dismiss the possibility that this still happens in some situations today. But we also need to exercise caution, being careful to test any apparent revelation from God to make sure it’s scriptural and in accordance with his will.
4. We can listen to Christ through looking at his creation. Whenever we see beautiful scenery, a lovely sunny day, pretty flowers or birds or butterflies, we are seeing the goodness of Jesus Christ and the variety and newness of life that is in him. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” (Romans 1:20)
5. We can listen to Christ through listening to other Christians. If Christ dwells in other people through the Holy Spirit and they are in tune with this, then they will be speaking his words to us. This is one of the great blessings of fellowship, of being able to come together in a church community. So it’s good to take the time to really listen to other people with empathy, understanding what they’re really thinking before we jump in ourselves. Ultimately the better we can listen to others, the better we can listen to Jesus!
Lord Jesus, help us to listen to you and hear your voice more clearly in our lives everyday.
Study by Simon Williams
Worldwide Church of God Cambridge
Comberton Village Hall
Saturday 2:00 pm
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