September 21, Wednesday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 16:12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

21I’m a terrible multitasker; if someone tries to speak to me while I am doing something, I often will not hear that person. I know it can be frustrating for others when they are trying to get my attention and I am completely oblivious. The problem is that when I am doing something else, I am unable to listen.

This passage is very clear – the Holy Spirit will speak to us. As this passage says, the Holy Spirit “will guide you into all the truth.” We talked about yesterday how Jesus left so that we could have the Spirit; and now with the Spirit in us, we can hear God directly—whenever. We are not dependent on the earthly Jesus to be near us to hear God as the disciples were while Jesus was on earth; rather, with the Spirit in us, we can hear God anytime, anyplace.

But many times, I hear people ask, “Why can I not hear the voice of God?” A common response is: “Are you listening?” Often we raise our fists up at God, yelling at Him for not speaking to us, but we are not even opening our ears to Him. If we do not listen, how can we hear? And how do we listen? We make time for real relationship with God in our lives, cultivating real intimacy so that hearing from God becomes a normal part of our relationship with Him.

God always has many things to say to us. He wants to be involved in our lives. But when we do not make space for Him in our lives, we miss out on all that God wants to say and do. How can we make space for Him? Well, praying and reading the Word are certainly great starts.  If we are not even doing those on a regular basis, we should not expect to hear from God. But as we draw near to Him daily, as our intimacy with Him grows, we will hear Him and our relationship with Him with flourish.

So today, let’s make space for God to speak. Let’s build our relationship with Him and open our ears. Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to say to you.”  And I believe He still has many things to say to us.

Prayer

Lord, give us ears to hear You. So often the noise and distraction of this world drowns out Your voice in our lives, but help us to quiet our hearts, draw near to You, and listen. Remove the distractions so that You become the center of our lives.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 9

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Lunch Break Study 

Read John 8:47 & 10:27: Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who hears the words of God?
  2. Who hears Jesus’ voice? What is the result of hearing His voice?
  3. How can you hear God’s voice in your life?

Notes

  1. This passage is very clear that whoever is of God hears the words of God. To not hear them means we are not of God. This verse is very black-and-white about this. Though it’s challenging, it should cause us to check our relationship with God; if we are not hearing from God, there may be something distracting us in our relationship with Him.
  2. This verse tells us that Jesus’ sheep, or His followers, hear His voice. Being a follower of Jesus means we will recognize His voice as He speaks to us through His Spirit. And as we hear, we will follow Him – that is the natural result of hearing His voice.
  3. These verses show us that those who are of God, who are in Jesus’ flock, hear His voice. Thus, we hear God by being His people. This comes through relationship with Him. Cultivate your relationship with God and you will hear His voice.

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Evening Reflection  

Spend time trying to listen to God. Do not just bring your requests, but bring just yourself. Rest in His presence and listen for His voice. As we read earlier, Jesus’ sheep hear His voice, so acknowledge that you belong to Him and open your heart and mind to Him.

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