Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Listening Hard

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Jn 10:27

Jay and Holly Anderson had accomplished their success story through Jay’s private practice in anesthesia. As Christians, they were listening to God and heard Him call them into deeper service. Already they were involved in short term missions overseas, but felt that God wanted more of their time in dedicated ministry. On one of their mission trips they accompanied Bruce Wilkinson to Africa where Jay laid before Bruce his plans to transition over the next ten years into a life more focused on service for Christ. Bruce then asked Jay, “That sounds like a good plan, Jay, but why not do it now? Ten years from now would you rather be starting your time of service or looking back over ten years of impact” Holly realized that she could travel to Africa on the money she spent on pine straw for her gardens each year. The Andersons heard God speak and sold their large house, bought a small patio style house, sold Jay’s expensive guitar collection and reduced Jay’s medical work to four days a week. The fifth day was dedicated to ministry for Christ.

As Christian doctors we should be listening for the whisper of God. When He whispers, we obey, or at least we know that we should. For most of us that whisper is a fresh call to either service or relationship or witness in our present location and occupation.

Sometimes God chooses to call us out of our present occupation or location so that He might use us in a different way. Such change may bring excitement to hearts that yearn to follow, but God’s whisper is often then drowned out by voices shouting the complications that such change will bring. “The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word making it unfruitful.” Mk 4:19. When these voices of the world speak we are tempted to adjust God’s plan to make it more practical and less painful with fewer risks.

When God spoke first to the Andersons, His directions were unclear and they began to time their obedience around their own reasonable practicalities. God then spoke a second time, saying, “Let’s do it on My schedule. I’ll take care of the complications.” Once God made it clear, they let go of their practical concerns and obeyed.

The Andersons got it right because they yearned for God’s will more then they yearned for security. And they listened hard. If we listen hard, it is God’s business to clarify and ours but to obey. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer 29:12.

Oh God, help me to listen hard so that You may be heard above the sounds of my world. Then help me obey. Amen

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