So far, we have explored the wonders of how God can speak to us. The same Holy Spirit of God Who inspired the Bible indwells us as believers. The author of Scripture can speak His truth to our listening hearts and minds in a marvelous varitety of ways. Again, He never speaks contrary to what He has already revealed in the inspired Scriptures.
God can speak to our emotions. Because He created and redeems us for His own possession, His presence within us can be revealed to us without words, in our redeemed emotions — love, joy, peace, assurance, etc. Yes, let Jesus be the Lord of the way we feel.
Last posting, I have identified and described over a dozen ways that the Spirit of Truth can influence our thoughts. If you missed that posting, you can go back and check it out.
Now, I am going to set up a series of postings on the art of listening prayer. To do so, I point you to a very familiar passage in Revelation 3:20. Here it is in The Living Bible
‘”Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.”
By our invitation we welcome Jesus to come into our hearts. He then responds with His own invitation to us to have fellowship with Him. That is what friends do when they sit down at a dinner table together. They talk with each other. Both parties ask questions, disclose their hearts, and listen to each other. Conversation! Back and forth! Give and take! True communion requires communication.
Think about that. Many of us first heard this verse, and His voice, and opened our hearts to receive Jesus as our Savior. Have you ever considered that this response to His voice is more than the way to begin? It is also the way to live! He knocks every day, and we respond every moment. That is the center piece of “walking in the Spirit.” Christ talks to us through His Spirit of Truth He has given to us.
Our focus here is on the conversational aspect. Most of us know how to do “asking prayer.” We have requests we feel are in line with God’s will. We sometimes find a great joy or relief in “telling prayer.” We come to our Wonderful Counselor and unburden our hearts about things. This really helps. God welcomes us to cast all our cares on Him. And now we come to the most fruitful and often the least exercised form of conversation with God – “listening prayer.”
At Clearwater, this is a major emphasis. He is King, after all, the Head of the church. And the only way we can experience His headship in our church is to listen! Think about this: We are an embassy for the King of Glory. We are the local expression of His kingdom on earth right here, right now – at the corner of Lemay and Drake. We are preparing the way for His unfolding plan to return and rule planet earth.
Why? Because Paul calls us “ambassadors” of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2. Our church is all about His glory, His plans, and His gospel. It is essential for all ambassadors to represent their King accurately. The only way we can function to advance His kingdom is to hear and obey our Commander
So, we at Clearwater are intent on becoming good listeners to our King. Paul say, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
So let’s press in to the Throne Room with eyes fixed on Christ. Let’s stand at attention, as it were, ready to hear and obey. Imagine yourself drawn close enough to hear Him whisper His heart and will to you. See yourself turning at His direction to look back at this world and see it through His eyes. Let’s be ready, as young Samuel was taught listening prayer, to say “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”