Are You Listening?
When my Pastor, Dr. Clifford A. Jones, Sr. is preaching his sermon, he tends to say, “Are you listening?” I noticed he does this when he is going more in depth through scripture and examples within his sermon. When he is describing a certain situation, or giving history based on scripture, it’s important to him that we are in tune to what God is saying and how we can make the word applicable to our lives.
Throughout my journey and continual faith walk as a Christian, I do believe that we serve a God who speaks to us. The question is, are we listening? What I love about God is that He may speak to us individually or collectively. He also may use different ways to speak to us such as music, dreams, people, and visions. He knows us so distinctly and knows what it will take to get our attention.
There are times He will even send us warning signs and tests to speak to us when we need to seek, surrender and or repent from ways that are not pleasing to Him. No matter how God decides to speak, the bigger question is “Are you listening.” Are you taking notice of, or giving your attention to His Lordship? As for me, the Lord uses visions when speaking. Just recently I had a vision and I want to share it with you.
In this vision I was using all my energy and strength to hold a door. On the other side of the door was an ocean of water. I was so afraid that the water was going to rush in and cause a flood and drown me. With all my natural ability I kept holding the door. Water began to come through the bottom of the door. When I looked down, it was up to my ankles. However, I noticed that the water was clear, pristine and to my surprise very warm.
The next voice I heard was that of the Lord, and he said, “Back away from the door.” I knew to back away from the door meant I had to let go, and trust God as well. It also meant something else that I will share a little later in this writing. Nevertheless, I did not murmur, panic, or negotiate with God. I took a couple steps back and the door opened, and the water began to flow in. However, the water did not flow in as a rushing flood, it was peaceful and gentle in nature. Before I knew it, the water was lifting me higher and the last thing I saw in this vision was me floating on top of the water with my hands stretched out to the side and smiling. It was refreshing and joyful lacking the presence of fear or death. I had more freedom and life after I obeyed God, by backing away from the door, as opposed to using all my energy and strength to keep it closed.
When I opened my eyes, I was speechless. The vision was so real, but there was one thing that boggled me. In the natural, I am terrified of water. I do not know how to swim; let alone float. I could not understand why God would use what I fear most to illustrate something so powerful concerning my life? Then I remembered in my recent devotional it said, “Many instructions that God will send to you for your destiny lifting will never make sense at first instance.” I so agree with that. I could not shake why God would illustrate His purpose and plan by using what I fear. It was not making sense to me. The Lord told me to continue to mediate on that vision, and I did.
I remember speaking about it to my hair stylist and my husband. Both confirmed that God was sending increased blessings and lifting me to a higher level in purpose, but I must listen when He is speaking and not be afraid to move when He says move. My husband went on to say, “Don’t be your own stumbling block.” I remember the Lord sharing with me, through continued mediation, that I saw the water as a reflection of drowning, flooding, and death, but He saw it as a reflection of elevation, restoration, and overflow. This also reminded me of the scripture that says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
The other thing God revealed to me, in that vision, is that trust is layered. We not only must trust the God in whom we serve, but we also must trust the God who lives inside of us. When the Lord said, back away from the door, I did so in obedience and trust. But once I backed away from the door, I also had to trust the God who lives inside of me for whatever was coming next. Are you listening? Your current place, and what’s next in your life, come with trust and obedience to God and the God that lives inside of you!
God is speaking so boldly in this fourth quarter of 2022. He is releasing strategy, creativity, and wisdom. He has much to say, and much to reveal. He has much for you and me to do in the land of the living. The question is, “Are you listening?”
Speaker/Author/Certified Stress Management Life Coach
Stress Less Starting NOW!