There was a comedian I heard one time that said, “That person ministered in the pathetic.” Not prophetic, but pathetic.
Too many times people think they have something to say and it turns out they’re saying nothing. To develop a prophetic voice, we need to develop a listening ear. To be the voice of God we need to hear the voice of God.
Mark Batterson says this in Draw the Circle:
We live in a culture in which everybody wants to be heard, but many people have nothing to say. Don’t worry about building a platform. If you listen to God, people will listen to you.
Lord, help us to open up our Bibles, read your word to us, hear your Spirit speaking to us, then empower us to act.
In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. (1 Sam. 3:1)
The word of the Lord was rare in Israel in those days because no one was listening. Everyone was into their life.
It’s not a matter of God “not speaking” in our world. It is a matter of us not listening.
After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. (1 Kings 19:12, CEB)
The power of Elijah is found in his ability to hear the voice of God. He could separate out all the noise and know when God was coming by to speak with him. We look for God in the spectacular. He may be in the spectacular. He may also be in that thin, quiet place. The key is to be a learner so that when God does speak, you are ready to hear and respond.
Having three boys I’ve been extremely fortunate over the years. I can assign lawn mowing duties. After they get to a certain age, that assignment costs me. It’s a cost I’ve been willing to pay.
Now, I’m back to the lawn mowing duties. There are several reasons why I hate mowing the lawn. But they all pale to one: It’s the time when I know the Lord will talk to me.
Sounds odd. Who doesn’t want to hear from God?
But when I mow the lawn and the Lord begins to speak to me, it’s often a very uncomfortable conversation. There are things to deal with and I’ve added enough noise to my life that I’ve avoided listening. Having one of my boys mow the lawn all the time was adding “noise” to my life.
When I get the lawnmower out I know it’s an hour of uninterrupted time. I don’t blast music on a music player. I just mow. And in that mowing, my spiritual ears are open.
Today was one of those days. I needed to get the lawn mowed and as soon as I started it up I began hearing what I needed to hear… but just didn’t want to listen to at the time. All kinds of great listens about “keeping the lawn of your spirit in order” and “watching out for spiritual weeds.” All kinds of stuff… junk in my life and I was face to face with it for an hour.
I’m thinking of getting a lawn mowing service next year. 😉