CtL cover 200Week 5: Listening to the Spirit

Listen First and Twice

Week 5, Day 4

As we highlighted while listening to the Creator, God listened to Adam. He desired to engage in conversation with His people, and still does! James 1:19 (NIV) gives us a formula for listening. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

And our anatomy gives us another reminder for listening: How many ears do we have? ____ And how many mouths? _____

James’ recommendation applies to our communication with God and also with others. A wise missionary once phrased it this way as a reminder when meeting someone with whom you are studying the Bible: “You’ve got to let the other person empty their bucket. Listen to what they have to say and let them tell their story. Then you will know better how to respond to their doubts, answer their questions with Scripture, and know where they are coming from. How can you know where to begin the study if you don’t know where they are starting from?”

Proverbs 18:13 (ESV)
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

Thoughts about listening first and twice when talking with others:

The same practice is true in our communication with God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (ESV)
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
God is infinitely wise. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8-9). What does it look like to listen first and twice in prayer?

As you pray today, listening first and twice, may your prayer be an echo of Christ’s prayer in the garden: “Not my will but yours be done” (Matt. 26:39). The Spirit will help you in this listening prayer. May we be slow to speak (James 1:19) and may our words be few (Eccl. 5:2).

Additional notes, thoughts, or drawings from listening to the Spirit:

We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what you are hearing and how you are growing in your devotion to listening.

This blog post is taken from the book Called to Listen: Forty Days of Devotion. To order a copy of this book, please visit our website and invite a friend to participate in the study with you. The book includes additional guides and questions to be reviewed in a small group context weekly.

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CtL cover 200Week 5: Listening to the Spirit

Listening to and for wisdom

Week 5, Day 3

The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and, as a Counselor and Guide, directs us on a wise path. Wisdom can seem like an elusive concept. We may not have the opportunity to be as wise as Solomon, but James 1:5 promises that if any of us lacks wisdom, we can ask for it and God promises to give it. The book of Proverbs is filled with descriptions of the merits of wisdom, warnings against rejecting it, and images portraying of the value of wisdom. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are often used interchangeably in the book. Proverbs 8 gives us a personification of wisdom. Wisdom itself is speaking. Read the entire chapter and notice the language with which wisdom speaks. Make note of phrases that jump out at you.

Sketch or summarize the points you see wisdom making.

And then answer the following questions:
Who/what does wisdom align herself with?

Who/what does wisdom hate or detest?

Looking back at verses 22-31, who/what else could be speaking? (Hint: Who are we listening to this week?)

What do wisdom and the Holy Spirit have in common?

Additional notes, thoughts, or drawings from listening to wisdom and the Holy Spirit:

We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what you are hearing and how you are growing in your devotion to listening.

This blog post is taken from the book Called to Listen: Forty Days of Devotion. To order a copy of this book, please visit our website and invite a friend to participate in the study with you. The book includes additional guides and questions to be reviewed in a small group context weekly.

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CtL cover 200Week 5: Listening to the Spirit

“Speak for your servant is listening”

Week 5, Day 2

Hannah poured out her heart to God and He heard her cries. Eli thought she was drunk, but God was listening. Read 1 Samuel 1:21-28.
What was the relationship between Samuel and Eli?

Now read 1 Samuel 3:1-21.
What happened on that night in 1 Samuel 3?

What did Samuel do when he didn’t recognize the voice calling out to him?

How can we apply the same practice for listening today?

Who do you have in your life that has developed the practice of listening to God and His Spirit—has learned to recognize His voice? How have they developed that skill?

Today’s prayer comes from Eli’s suggestion and Samuel’s words: “Speak for your servant is listening.” You are learning to recognize when and how the Spirit speaks in your life. And even when the voice is unclear, we can call out to Him and invite His words. “Speak for your servant is listening.”

Additional notes, drawings, or thoughts from listening to the Spirit:

We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what you are hearing and how you are growing in your devotion to listening.

This blog post is taken from the book Called to Listen: Forty Days of Devotion. To order a copy of this book, please visit our website and invite a friend to participate in the study with you. The book includes additional guides and questions to be reviewed in a small group context weekly.

Comment (0) Hits: 38

CtL cover 200Week 5: Listening to the Spirit

How the Spirit Speaks and Listens

Week 5, Day 1

In the Old Testament, the Spirit was more of a silent partner (Gen. 1:2). God anointed a few choice individuals with His Spirit, some with a double portion (2 Kings 2:9). And then the Spirit carried along the prophets and the writers of the Bible, as we know it today (2 Pet. 1:21, ESV). 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Now that Christ has come and was raised, we each have the opportunity to walk intimately with the Spirit—even have Him dwelling in us! When and how are we anointed with the Spirit? Be sure and include specific scriptures to answer this question.

How does the Spirit speak today?

Read John 15:26-27, 16:7-15. From these verses in John, list five characteristics of the Spirit and His role in our listening.

What does Romans 8:26-27 (ESV) say about the Spirit’s listening and speaking?
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

As the Spirit searches your heart and intercedes for you, take some time today to thank God for the Spirit that listens and speaks. If you don’t have the words, call on the Spirit to speak for you. We can claim these promises! How have you heard the Spirit speak to you? Have you felt its gentle nudging? Did you answer that call or ignore it? Make notes about that time, especially if are willing to share the story when you gather with your Iron Rose Sisters.

If you have not ever felt that the Spirit has spoken to you or led you, now is a good time to ask Him to speak—let Him know that you are listening.

Additional thoughts, notes, or drawings from listening to the Spirit:

We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what you are hearing and how you are growing in your devotion to listening.

This blog post is taken from the book Called to Listen: Forty Days of Devotion. To order a copy of this book, please visit our website and invite a friend to participate in the study with you. The book includes additional guides and questions to be reviewed in a small group context weekly.

Comment (0) Hits: 45

CtL cover 200Week 4: Listening to the Son

It’s a Matter of Perspective

Week 4, Day 7

 

Compliments and cut downs. Constructive criticism and complaints. For good or for ill, we hear what we want to hear—or at least what we think we have heard. If someone offers a compliment, we may not hear it in the spirit it was shared. The tone of voice, speaker, timing, and many other factors play into our interpretation of the other person’s words. We filter our listening through our perceptions, our past experiences, and our warped understanding. Two people can say the exact same thing, but we hear it better from one person than from the other. We also hear things better when they are presented from a different angle or highlight things in a way we can more easily understand. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did that. They each shared the story of Jesus, but did so with different audiences and perspectives in mind.
Why do we have the gospel story shared in four different books?

Matthew wrote to the Jews about Jesus, the Messiah—the fulfillment of the prophecies and the One who established the kingdom.
Mark gave an action-packed account of how the people were amazed at all Jesus did.
Luke chose a more Gentile audience who was not familiar with the Jewish traditions and longed to hear other details highlighted during Jesus’ time on earth.
John focused more on who Jesus is and all He represents as the great I AM, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.

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