Hearing God

Fresh Manna © by Pastor Tim Burt
1 Kings 19:12 “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice”

How do you get your children, your co-workers, your spouse, your boss, or your employees to pay attention and listen to you when you really want them to hear what you have to say – especially if they are not inclined to pay attention and listen? Do you yell, do you shout, do you exaggerate, do you scream, do you cry, or go into a tirade? Do you throw something or pout and stomp out of the room? Most people do things that are manipulative and inappropriate when they want people to listen to what they have to say or if they are tying to get attention. If you are a parent, watch Supernanny or Nanny 911 and you will get a glimpse of someone executing everyone of these inappropriate forms of communication.

I sincerely believe that most people are guilty at some point of inappropriate forms of communication when trying to get people to listen to what they have to say. The exception might be for those who have already come to terms with their failures in this arena and have learned to make suitable changes.

Communication skills are some of the most important in life to learn and without God’s help, most people fail over and over again.

I was picking up a rental car the other night. I saw a young manager use maybe the best communication skills I have ever seen demonstrated in public. A woman and her enormously large husband were returning a rental car. The man working the counter was collecting the fee. She thought the fee was too high. He went through and explained every fee including the insurance coverage. She went into a rant. She began to yell that she did not ask for that coverage. He showed her calmly where she had signed her name to that coverage. It didn’t matter to her. She still said she didn’t ask for it. She talked loudly and rudely to this very kind man. Every time she would say something, she would turn around and give this evil looking smile to everyone else in line like it was some big joke. I honestly think most people wanted to have her arrested. The gentleman handing her was extremely kind. Then a young manager came in and saw what was happening. He said, “Excuse me mam but if you aren’t happy, let me take care of this for you. She was shouting and rude to him looking at everyone and telling them she will never use their car company again. He calmly said, “I am sure there was just some miscommunication and misunderstanding. I know it was busy that day and it would have been easy for either of us to make a mistake. I will be glad to take off that charge. I hope everything else was okay?” She was still yelling at him even thought he resolved her issues. He continued to be as sweet as honey and finally she got it that he was helping her. He turned her around and she left happy. Did she deserve it? Probably not. It wouldn’t surprise me if she acts this way everywhere she goes. Her husband did absolutely nothing to contain it.

After everyone left, I commended this man on his kindness and communication skills. They were off the charts, He stayed calm and his voice kind and gentle throughout the process of her belittling him.

God deals with us regularly through His still small voice. He does not yell, throw a fit, throw rocks at us, or bring calamity upon us. He talks softly to our heart and through His Word. He will even say things through others that speak to us like arrows hitting a target.

In the Old Testament we read God dealing with Elijah teaching him how to truly pay attention to God’s voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT) “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still small voice.

That still small voice – not the other activity, was the voice was the Lord. That was what God was teaching Elijah to pay attention to.

Jesus in teaching His disciples to learn to listen to God which meant listening to Him said,
“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:5 That stranger is the voice outside of God’s character – the voice of accusation and condemnation and discouragement – Satan’s voice.

Jesus then taught them, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…” John 10:27

God, like a loving parent is teaching, correcting, instructing, and encouraging us all the time if we will listen from within. He’ll impress upon our hearts right words and actions to say and do. We also have to read His Word and put it in us. Much wisdom concerning communication comes from Proverbs. When we learn it, God will remind us of it – if we listen. Then we just have to practice listening and responding to those impressions from Him.

Will you learn to communicate without inappropriate behavior to make your point or will yield to manipulation, exaggeration, and inappropriateness – letting it be your continuing lifestyle? God is speaking to you about which is better. Can you hear Him?

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt http://www.freshmanna.org/

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