My Monday started out as a typical Monday in that I kept my morning routine. It was different in that I kept hearing an echo in my mind of the previous night's sermon. Bro. Mark Russell, an evangelist from Ohio was the preacher. His message took its text from Joshua 25. Today, it reverberated, "It's CHOOSE day! It's CHOOSE day, today!"
I tried to be more careful in my thoughts and plans. Lord, I choose to serve you, today. I choose to be more like you, today. As I hurried through my shower, brushing my teeth, letting the dog out, I sang, "Make me in your image, make me more like you". My Android cell phone buzzed and I saw a quote on an incoming email that said, "Some commit the same mistake with God that they do with their friends: they do all the talking." I could not wait to get these things out of the way so I could pray. I decided that today, I would listen.
I did start out my prayer with me talking, though. I gave praises to God. I prayed for my children and some serious situations in each of their lives. I prayed for my husband on his job. I specifically prayed for my son, Nolan. I was anxious about his new job he'd been blessed with in the middle of the hottest days of summer since it was in a plant that has no air conditioning. I prayed for unity in relationships with leaders. I prayed and prayed and prayed. In between praying, I praised. Then, I thought, well, here I am. I am doing all the talking.
I have a little attention deficit disorder when I am in a conversation with people I can hear who are talking to me in the flesh. It is very hard for me to listen when I don't hear an actual audible voice. So, knowing that God knows me because He made me, I went ahead and admitted my struggle. I said, almost in a frustrated tone, "Jesus, I want to listen. I sincerely do. But, if I am going to listen, I need you to really talk. I need to hear you."
I stopped talking. I waited. I listened. Then I heard the still small voice. "I speak to you in the breeze I send to cool your son. I answer you loudly when you cry by working in each and every situation you pray for. My voice carries all the way into this age from the book of Psalms chapter 91 as I speak directly to the angels I've set around you and your children as protection. I speak through you as you witness to those I nudge you to approach. The Word you read every day is My Word and I speak to you from it. I put my words in your pastor, your husband, and other ministers you hear and they speak to you for me.
You have heard me talking for many years. And it is still true, my daughter, that you are my sheep. I am your shepherd. My sheep hear my voice. I know my sheep. I call them and they follow my voice."
Quite humbled, I remained silent. I did not want His voice to stop. I could listen to Him all day. He knows me so well. He chose that moment to speak to me visually, because my eyes were closed, so I know I wasn't dreaming, but suddenly I saw His feet. Solid and strong they stood firmly planted and beside His right foot was a staff. It was so real I could touch it. I almost wanted to, but, I was too engrossed in looking at it. It was worn smooth. I felt there was extreme security in it. I knew it was used to point, to direct, to pull me in. But, it was stationary at this moment. It was just there for me to observe. I wanted to be next to it. So, I shifted closer, until I was leaning right up next to it. Then, He spoke again. "It is easiest for the sheep who are the closest to hear my voice the loudest. If you need to hear me speak loudly, stay this close to me. You will never miss my voice. Sheep who wander far away from me can hear me only in muffled tones. Stay here, right near me. You will hear my voice and you will understand all that I say."
I love to hear Him. I will stay near Him.
Will you come closer and hear Him, too? Or, will you make Him come out to you?