Be Still and Listen

These are the opening words of Psalm 19:

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.”

While the night sky or the beautiful clouds on a nice day do not literally speak audible words into our ears, they can nonetheless tell us about the glory of God.

In fact, the sky is not the only part of creation that has something to tell us about God and His greatness, and His glory is not the only thing that we can learn.

Romans 1:19-20 states: “That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Not only the sky, but all of the wonderful things that fall under the designation of “what has been made” are here for us to learn of God. And we learn not only of his glory, but of “that which is known,” a category which is summer up by the description “His eternal power and divine nature.”

Part of that divine nature which being communicated to us daily is God’s wisdom.

Proverbs 1:20-23 says:
“Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
‘How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.’”

What if we looked at each day as an opportunity for God to say something to us through “what has been made” as He reveals to us the truth about his glory, power, and wisdom? What if we looked at every day as a new opportunity to learn more of Him, and in the process learn to love Him more?

Psalm 46:10 says: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Other translations render the first part of this verse: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Evidently the original recipients of the words of Psalm 46 were striving so much and being so busy that they were unable to hear God’s messages to them about Himself, His majesty, His power, and His love.

Will you take time this week to be still, and listen to creation, and listen to the things that have been made, and listen to wisdom as she cries out all around us, so that you can draw nearer to the God who wants you to come to know Him?

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Open Communication

Some of the most common advice we hear for building strong and healthy relationships is to understand the importance of open communication.

But therapists and relationship experts are not the only one’s who emphasize communication. The Bible also teaches the value of talking to each other about what is really going on in our hearts and lives.

We should communicate:

When we have a word of instruction, encouragement, or praise:
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

With a brother or sister is in spiritual danger through sin:
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
(Galatians 6:1)

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Matthew 18:15)

When WE have sinned and need healing:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

When we have offended each other:
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
(Matthew 5:23-24)

When we are concerned about one another:
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” (Poverbs 12:25)

When we feel burdened:
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Perhaps most importantly, our communication must not be only horizontal (with each other,) but also vertical (with God.) Listen to David as he speaks of the difference it made in his life when he truly opened up to his God:

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.  Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found.” (Psalm 32:3-6)