"Children should be seen and not heard." "Listen first and speak later." "Don't speak unless you're spoken too."
Advice I heard or had spoken to me. Statements that have their place but ones that can also give wrong messages. Children may say inappropriate things at the wrong time and in the wrong place but we certainly don't want to completely stifle their expressions. There is a time to speak up and a time to shut up.
Hearing God requires the same as the sage maintains: As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God (Ecclesiastes 5:1).
Our reasons for going to church vary. Tradition, parental compulsion, spousal pressure, attempts to impress God, or because we think God might deliver us out of a mess we've gotten ourselves in. More often than not, we have a need we want God to satisfy and we mistakenly assume the only place he can do it is in church.
God promises to meet the needs of his followers, and he often throws in a few wants. He tends to the physical, mental, and emotional, but our most urgent needs concern spiritual growth.
Rather than sole and direct intervention, God often uses us and others to meet our needs. Unless we hear him clearly we may very well miss the needmeeter he sends or the instructions he gives.
"Be still and know I'm God" is always good advice. Noise-whether self inflicted or from outside interference, must often be silenced to hear God's still small voice, but the results are worth the effort.
When listening for God to speak, I've discovered he's not the only one vying for my attention. Satan-and sometimes others, will offer bad advice. Learning to recognize God's voice is essential if we're to avoid wrong turns and dead ends.
Churches and prayer closets are wonderful places to hear from our heavenly Father. His instructions will always align with his Word and be in our best interest.
Prayer: Father, help us be quiet so we can clearly hear You. www.lovelinesfromgod.com