Stop, Look And Listen

Monday, June 27, 2011

It is easy to say, “I trust God” when things go smoothly or are easy to understand. But, when push comes to shove and circumstances in life require us to wait or are beyond our comprehension, how easy is it really to trust Him and His timing? Sometimes we can become so fearful of losing an opportunity that we move too fast and end up jumping into a situation not blessed by God. Often we mistakenly take matters into our own hands when God’s capable hands have the situation already under control. When confronted with a major decision, we need to remember to stop, replace our fear with trust, and then pray.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When I was a child, my mother taught me a poem to help me remember to be careful when crossing the street. In turn, I taught it to my children. And today, I still think of it whenever I take that first step onto a road.

“Stop, look and listen before you cross the street.
Use your eyes and use your ears before you use your feet!”

When those wise words are followed, we will avoid stepping into a harmful and dangerous situation. And, when those wise words are applied with a Biblical perspective to the choices in front of us, we are better equipped to make the right decision. When we stop to pray, look in God’s word and listen for His answers we will avoid taking that dangerous wrong step. But how do we learn to hear Him?

The shepherds of ancient Israel spent much of their lives in close proximity to their sheep. As the shepherd watched for hidden dangers in the fields and fed and watered their flock, the shepherd and sheep learned to recognize each other easily. Each night the shepherd led his sheep into the safety of the sheepfold. Often, the fold was comprised of more than one shepherd’s flock. But, the voice of the shepherd was so familiar to his sheep that when night passed, one call would bring only the sheep which belonged to him to the gate.

As we come to know our Lord and Shepherd, we too, will learn to recognize His voice.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

God is our Shepherd and Guide who lovingly cares for us throughout our lives. As we pray for His guidance when faced with a difficult choice we can be sure that He will direct us to safety. So, rather than running on ahead of our Lord, we need to actively pursue His answers by drawing near to Him. For the closer we come to Him, the more easily we will recognize His voice. As we step out in faith, we need to remember to kneel down and pray.

Trusting Him,
Joan





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19 comments

  1. Dear Joan:

    This morning as I read your post, I came to the part where you ask, "how can we learn to listen for Him?" I was surprised by your telling of the sheepfold! I'd never given much thought to that, but how true is that! Thank you for this reminder of our speaking God.

    Love, your sister

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  2. Joan:

    Wonderful post, as always. I've heard of at least two men, both ministers, who made visits to the Holy Land and witnessed the mingling of sheep at a watering hole. When the first shepherd left and called his sheep, they immediately seperated from the other flock and followed.

    We too can know our Shepherds voice.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  3. Love it! I also remember my mother saying that to me when I was young about the stop, look and listen. We get in such a hurry these days, not only to step out in the traffic but also to step out without seeking Him. I need to slow down and wait for His signal before I proceed. Great thoughts today!

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  4. Thinking of those three words from reading your post is exactly what I needed. I read the book Made to Crave, and God is really dealing with me about obedience in eating. Those words you wrote about will surely be helpful! Thank you!

    Living So Abundantly: A new meme this coming Thursday, July 7, 2011, Give Back Thursday--come join the fun!

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  5. :) This is such a great post, especially because I'm known as a "stop, look and listen girl". As you probably know I write posts with that tagline, however I often need to be reminded all over again.

    Like today!!

    Thanks,
    T

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  6. Good reminder to stick close to our Shepherd and to always listen!

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  7. I know I read this earlier in the week, but it I certainly needed to hear it again.

    Our posts have a similar theme...I just need to stop, look, and listen.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  8. I love this post Joan, I love the Shepherd imagery and the comfort it evokes in my heart. I'm all about avoiding danger! God is so good to be WITH US!
    Blessings & LOVE
    ~Kathy

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  9. Your opening line really caught me. How true it is... It's so easy to say these things when life is going fine, when blessings abound, and when prayers are getting answered just the way we'd like. ... It's another thing to say those words when we're waist-deep in despair.

    A good word from you, sister. Keep at it.

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  10. God definitely does guide our paths by directing and protecting us; we just must be more willing to listen sometimes, and trust Him in every choice we make! :)
    I am glad I saw your blog and stopped by this morning! :)
    Denise

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  11. Hi Joan,

    This post is right on time. It relates and speaks to what I just experienced in my waiting for a new job opportunity. Trusting Him and listening to His voice I meditated on all the scripture you discuss and more. Perfect post for my life. Thank you.

    Blessings,
    Judy

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  12. Yes, our feet run ahead of the direction from the Lord. Stop, Look, and Listen to the Lord is a good direction.

    Blessings,
    Janis

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  13. Joan, this was really lovely. I have a tendency to run ahead, or to just sit down and give up. Neither is listening or obeying God's guidance.

    I love how you talked about the sheep and their shepherd. I've heard it before, but somehow it just seemed alive in your telling. I am drawing near to Him - and I can't wait to hear His Voice!

    GOD BLESS!

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  14. The older I get the more I really try to be still and wait for the Lord to lead me.
    Thank-you for sharing this post today.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  15. Wonderful, Joan. "When we step out in faith we need to remember to kneel in prayer." Just wonderful advice. What a difference that will make.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  16. We are compared to sheep many times in the Bible. I am so glad I have a loving Shepherd who guides me and leads me. But I have to listen for His voice. Sometimes when I pray and read my Bible, a verse will stand out to me. Often it will be one I've read many times before but I needed it at this time.

    Wonderful post Joan.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  17. Great advice, Joan. I love that scripture that says his sheep hear his voice. Thank you for this blessing.
    Charlotte

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  18. This is the line that I needed to hear this morning "Often we mistakenly take matters into our own hands when God’s capable hands have the situation already under control" along with the reminder of Proverbs 3:5&6. Several situations that I need to apply this to this week, ...especially with dealing with the IRS again!

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  19. Very powerful message. Thanks... I needed that. I'm currently experiencing difficulty with relationships with our children. They seem to want to pull us into a lot of drama and it's sometime difficult to say 'no'. I'll be praying and listening :)

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