Listening Before Speaking
Years ago our church taught Ministering Spiritual Gifts through Bishop Bill Hammon’s Christian International. It was a course that taught one how to progress from quiet individual prayer to listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit to the point of giving personal prophetic words to people. It could be intimidating to one who likes a “quiet witness”. One of the first lessons is just to pray orally with another person, and for some, that is pushing them beyond their comfort zones.
I remember taking the lesson on “Journaling” where you ask the Lord a question, sit in silence and listen to the Spirit’s prodding, then writing what you think you have heard. Often one may get the first word or two, and in faith start only to feel the flow after taking the step of faith. I wrote, “Is this journaling real? I need to know.” I sat quiet, then began to write. I could not believe what I got. I wrote:
“Anthony, I know you like to talk, for I have been listening to you. I want you to know that I like to talk too. Are you willing to listen to Me?”
Ouch! Right on the mark; how true! Since that day I have tried to cultivate my “hearing ear” to listening to the Spirit. I would rather listened during a worship service that speak or sing.
Can you imagine how powerful and effective we would be if we just “listened” for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do and then be obedient to what we have heard? That is what Jesus did, often going alone in solitude just to listen. After listening, he could walk on water during storms, feed five thousand with a few fish and loaves.
If we want to be effective evangelists, maybe we should learn to “listen” first, before speaking, then we would not have to do “evangelistic programs” or models. Wow, take the time right now and listen. Stop reading this blog, listen, and act on what you hear the Spirit telling you.