“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11
I know this passage is to do with Israel. But if you look it can apply to people as well. Israel, even today, is is rich as many nations 10x her size, but hearing from the Lord seems to be missing.
In our lives we can do the same thing in our prayer times. We have a prayer list, prayer book, some may even have a prayer spreadsheet. We open in prayer and do all the talking. We get up and go.
Growing up, I had some really interesting family members. One such was Pappy. He was born in 1901. Lived through the years before cars. Before trucks. Before paved roads. Before radio. Before TV. Lived through the Great Depression. Lived through the years of WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. The people he met in his life, the experiences. How do I know such things about him? I was encouraged to go talk to him and listen.
There's a whole lot that Jesus wants to say TO us if we would but stop and listen.
Some actually think it odd to hear Jesus speak to people. Well look at it from another direction. Why wouldn't He?
Why would He be silent? His love for you is beyond imagination. His careful crafting of truth into your life is more intricate that anything a diamond cutter can come up with.
Yesterday on my way to work, was talking out loud in the car to Jesus. It's a rainy morning. Had been sharing what was on my heart. I get up to the next to last traffic light before getting onto 270 and right in front of me is a semi with a cross painted on the back door as big as the door. Follow the cross. Was the message. Stick to what you have learned. I will get the rest. Things will work out.
We live in an ever increasing impatient world. We have to have video game systems so fast that instantly isn't fast enough for reaction time. We have intersections redesigned because people are too distracted to use a stop sign or stop light properly. We have people intentionally driving 20 miles over the speed limit and aren't being stopped by police. We have newspapers going the way of the dinosaur because paper print is too slow of a delivery. We see news on TV and by the time they start mentioning what it is, the news reports on your phone are calling it old news.
You go into a mall, a store anywhere. People have something in their ears to either drown out the world or to carry on a conversation.
Used to be going to a store just meant getting what you needed and leaving. Now stores compete to get you on your phone or to get you off it in order to coax another purchase out of you.
Society is ever accelerating. Yet soon it will come to a screeching halt. More on that later.
Right now...add listening time to your prayer time. Quite often my heart has things to say that I don't have words for. That's the Holy Spirit's job to bring that before Jesus.
Slow down your life to have a true conversation with Jesus. Not a grocery list. Jesus isn't like the Genie in the lamp. He is the lamb who took away the sins of the world. He died and arose again for you. Would it honestly kill you to stop and respect that? To listen to what He has to say to you?
It's interesting that most vacations are about jumping out of life to experience something new. You can do that today without the vacation. Do something new with Jesus. My Pappy knew some very interesting people that I learned about in school. Jesus did more than that. He knows everyone. He can explain things about you that even you don't know.
In my life listening isn't something I excel at. Ask my Wife. I have to write things down in moderate detail to remember why I wrote it down. A name and phone number on a Post-it isn't enough. I need to write a small biography to remember who it belongs to.
So try it today. And hey, if you have older relatives still in your life. Go talk to them about what they have lived through and have seen. It will teach you more than any school. It will teach you about life.
Stop, Pray and Listen.