Listen to God

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:1, ‘Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.’


Observations: The main idea in this verse is that we ought to ‘listen’ to God, rather than go through the motions without thought. What matters most is what God thinks of us, not what we think of ourselves. We may think that we’ve got it all together and that God will accept our sacrifices, our worship. But the truth may well be that we have ‘done wrong,’ and that we are ‘fools.’ It is much better that we allow God to speak into our hearts and reveal our sins. Often when we go to worship God we think of it in terms of what we say to God, our prayers and songs of praise, but according to Solomon what is more important is what God says to us. He says, ‘God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (v2)’ God’s words are much more significant than ours.


Application: How much time do you spend listening to God? How often do you go near to God to listen to him? If you’re anything like me, it wouldn’t be very often. So how do you listen to God? Firstly, God speaks most fully and most consistently through his Word, the Bible. You listen to God when you read the Bible with an open heart, asking God to speak to you through his word. Secondly, God does speak into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit reminds us of Scripture, and guides our steps throughout each day. The promptings of the Spirit help us to live as Jesus lived, to love God and others as he did. Thirdly, God speaks to us through prayer, what we call quiet times, times we set aside to not only speak to God, but listen to him. I want to encourage you to listen to God.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I need to grow in the area of speaking with You, but even more I need to grow in this area of listening to You. Lord, You are God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, You know the beginning from the end, You know all things, and yet so often I don’t seek Your wisdom, I don’t listen to what You’re saying to me. Lord, give me an open heart that I might hear You speak. Lord, may Your Spirit guide my steps that You may bring Yourself glory and honour through me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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