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21 July - Are You Listening?

When I was pregnant with our eldest daughter, I can vividly remember craving oranges, and my doctor said it was my body's way of telling me I needed vitamin C.

Our bodies and mental, emotional, and spirit will tell us what we need and what will bring us the most joy and peace if we are in tune and quiet enough to listen. However, it's when we fall into the trap of constantly being too busy, rushed, not taking the time to deal with issues in our life, and never having any quiet moments that cause us to miss these promptings.

When we allow ourselves to get into the habit of living out of sync with who we are and what we need, eventually, something is going to break, start screaming and require urgent attention.

Over the years, I’ve been as guilty as anyone else of not listening enough and striving, stressing and pushing myself because I know I can tackle the task before me. But I’ve discovered that just because I can do something, or even because it needs doing, does not mean God wants me to do it.

God says, “He has planned good works in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10), and the key to walking in those God-ordained good works is to be tuned in to what He is telling us and not just feeling pressured by our own or others expectations. It’s also learning to be sensitive to our bodies, our emotions and the thoughts we are thinking to hear when there is a need, opportunity or issue in our life that needs addressing.

Disciplining ourselves to stop and listen is a wise choice, rather than waiting until we are faced with a massive drama through such things as sickness, relationship breakdowns, financial pressures, anxiety, nervous complaints, or finding ourselves in a spiritual “hole” because we’ve failed to listen and act.

God promises He will lead and guide us into the fullness of life and that He gives us everything we need. He speaks and directs, and He’s created our whole being to signal us when we are out of step with what is healthy and beneficial. The question is, “are we listening?”

As the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine”, meaning it is better to act and deal with issues rather than leave or ignore them. The problems only get worse or take longer to deal with anyway. If we are listening, many issues can be avoided or dealt with before they have a chance to cause drama.

Today, hit the pause button and schedule some time to listen; to God, His Word, the quality of your thoughts, your loved ones, and where you are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Determine to deal with issues before they become urgent, take time out, and care for your health, inner world, and relationship with Jesus. Your “future self” will thank you for it.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:3)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)

Prayer: Lord, help me to stop and listen so that I can hear you speaking as you guide my steps. Please help me be more in tune with you, my body, and my emotional, mental and spiritual health. Give me wisdom, and help me to be self-disciplined so I can run my race well with you. In Jesus name Amen

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