Sunday Devotional Playlist:
This week’s playlist starts with some songs to sing along with, but then will move into some instrumental music as a backdrop to your devotional time.
Feel free to use the opening songs as moments to worship, or just have them as background music while you read. It’s up to you!
Hit play on the video above and it will run through the songs in the playlist.
Walking His Way (part three)
Good morning again! We’re taking some time at the moment to consider God as our “Waymaker” and what it means for us to follow him and walk in his way. God is committed to making a way for us and to lead us to walk in it, it’s who he is and what he always does. We really feel like this is a key word for us as a church family at the moment and that we are going to have testimonies of God making a way for us in specific situations over the coming months. So let me encourage you to believe this, pray for it in the specific area you need for him to move and expect to see those prayers answered!
Over the last two weeks we looked at the 4 “corners” that we need to have in place as we look to discern the way God is making for us and navigate all the different decisions, options and choices that we have.
- There is a plan for your life and it’s good and hope filled (Jeremiah 29:11)
- In all things, God is active working for your good (Romans 8:28)
- God is after partnership not a dictatorship. (Proverbs 16:9)
- We need to have our priorities straight – keep first things first (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4)
I picture these 4 truths as making up the frame the whole of my life and within them are all the specific choices and decisions I get to make. Next week we will look at some of the specific ways God might speak to us and shows us the way He wants us to go but this morning I want to set one final core truth in place:
God will speak – and you can hear!
Before we start looking at the specific and different ways that he might speak we first need to settle that He will! If we believe God wants partnership and connection with us as we look to follow him then we have to believe He doesn’t just make a way for us and then sit back silently and hope we somehow stumble upon what that way is! He makes a way, He speaks and shows us what and where it is and promises to guide us and walk with us in it.
I’ve met so many Christians over the years who really don’t think that God speaks to them or at least have very little confidence in their ability to hear what He us saying. If God doesn’t speak, or not all of us are able to hear, then we really are left to our own devices to try figure out where we should go and what we should do. But this simply is not true for any single one of us!
In John chapter 10, Jesus talks about himself as the Good Shepherd and describes those who follow him as his sheep. I’d encourage you to have a read of the whole chapter but for this morning let’s just pull out a few verses:
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”John 10:2-5
Notice these key things:
- His sheep listen (v2)
- His sheep know his voice (v4)
- His voice is why the sheep follow (v4)
- Recognising the Shepherds voice keeps them from being led astray by other voices (v5)
Jesus doesn’t say all this about some certain sheep, or special categories of sheep but just “my sheep,” so I figure that’s all of us! He is pretty clear that all his sheep will listen, hear and recognise his voice and because of this they will follow him. So while that might not always have been your experience, or isn’t something you feel particularly strong in the fact remains; Jesus says that if you are his sheep then you are inherently able to hear Him just as much as anyone else. Following Jesus isn’t blind faith, hopeful stumbling and based on our best efforts – it’s centred on hearing, learning to recognise and follow His voice!
Learning to listen and hear
Listening, hearing, recognising and following are all very separate and important parts of the journey that we need to pay attention to. I’m not saying hearing and recognising Gods voice isn’t something we have to practice, grow into and get better at because it really is but I just want to make sure we are all abundantly clear that the starting point is that all of us can!
The story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3 is a really great example of all this. Three times God calls to Samuel and while he hears, he doesn’t recognise it as God. He presumes it’s Eli and so keeps going to him. I guess He wasn’t expecting for God to speak to him and so his hearing didn’t lead to recognising. Once Eli had explained to Samuel that it was God speaking then Samuel was able to listen and He went on to become one of the most significant prophets in Israel’s history. But even for him He had to learn to listen and recognise the voice of God and the same is true for us. But remember as Jesus’s sheep, we can do both – we will hear and we can know and recognise his voice.
- God has, does and will speak.
- Remember some times and ways where God has spoken to you in the past, thank him for them and that He is the same God today so will speak again.
- Take time to consider:
- How easy do you find it to listen?
- Do you expect him to speak?
- Do you expect to hear?
- Are you growing in recognising the voice of God?
- Are you following what He says?
For some really helpful tips on listening to God, have a read of this from our friends at 24-7 Prayer: 24-7prayer.com/listen