Nov
29

Listen to God!

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“Listen to God” We say those words, but how do we do them? Sometimes we sort of hear Him and then distractions get in the way. Was it that way for Jesus mother?

As we begin our Advent Season, we hear about a virgin named Mary. She was visited by an angel named Gabriel, sent from God, and she listened. God had a plan for her and it was a plan that would bring light into the entire world.  Crazy plan? Absolutely¦to us it is!  God coming down into a womb¦to enter this world as a baby?  It must have felt sort of strange to Mary as well! Why would God choose to become a part of our humanity by entering her, a virgin, a teenage girl? She would likely be ridiculed and shunned by some! She would come close to being abandoned by her fiancé. We ask ourselves, How was she able to focus on what God was doing and turn away from the distractions? She listened to God!

I have a big basket of devotional books that follow me around. If I feel like sitting downstairs by the fireplace with my coffee in the AM, the basket is with me. Sometimes the basket is by the big chair in the front room and my heated cup holder is keeping my coffee hot as I read.  Some of the devotions are interesting, some of them cause me to sit and ponder, and some of them bring aha moments or what I like to call epiphanies. But every one of them is God speaking to me¦and I love to listen. No more newspapers, we quit taking them.  My mornings begin with peace now!

It was in these peaceful moments that God began pointing out the areas of my life that I needed to give more time to…areas that needed to become my priority.  God first spoke softly, and my own thoughts got in the way.  Not unlike what happens to each of us at one time or another. I would get busy¦ So He had to speak louder¦and then I didn’t want to hear what He said.

I am retiring as your Associate Pastor at the end of this year. I am not leaving Peace Lutheran Church. I plan to continue the Wednesday Morning Bible Study. However, I will be stepping back from all the other areas that have been a part of my call.

I’ve argued with God about this, just like I argued with Him when He called me into seminary 5½ years ago.  First I said I was too old. Now I’ve been saying that I have so much left to give! Both times He has reminded me that HE has a path for me and He wants me to LISTEN! And so I have been listening¦and as I did,  the most incredible thing happened¦a sense of things to come, here at Peace Lutheran, filled me with such a joy that I had to catch my breath. Every time I thought (with sorrow) about telling you that I was stepping back, this excitement about our church would bubble up in my chest and I would have to smile. It was then I knew I was really hearing God correctly. God has poured out blessings on Peace Lutheran Church. And He has just begun.  Hang on¦you cant even imagine what His plans are for us. LISTEN TO HIM!  It is not about you¦it is not about me¦it is about Jesus Christ our Savior and what He came to do!!

See, if we believe that God dwells in us and He says that He does (and God doesn’t lie), then I am unable to question Him when He speaks. I can only obey! Oswald Chambers said, When Jesus says, Come, I simply come; when He says, Let go, I let go; when He says, Trust God in this matter, I trust.

LISTEN TO HIM! HE HAS THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE!

Pastor Gail