ATTEND TO MY WORDS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
The world is a place full of distractions. All kinds of electronic games and devices were created to distract you from the realities of life. If you allow it, you can be continually distracted from those things that are really important in life, things like hearing from God. You can't hear Him when He speaks if your eyes are glued to some smart phone twenty-four hours a day. God will not force you to...

Submitted: April 05, 2017

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Submitted: April 05, 2017

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"ATTEND TO MY WORDS"
 
BY: WILLIAM T. A. OLUBIYI, DMin, DITH
Nigeria, West Africa
 
God is merciful and forever ready to direct your steps as you journey on the road to perfection. You should always seek the Lord's direction but first you need to understand that you have a vital role to play that determines whether you get it or not. Prov. 3:6 says, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." The Lord will direct your paths but first you must acknowledge Him. The Amplified Bible says, "In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]." There is a part you have to play in order to receive divine direction. Prov. 4:1 says you are to "give attention to know understanding." Prov. 4:10 says, "Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many." You need to pay attention to what's in your heart because that's where God is. To be led by God you've got to be aware of what's in your heart. God is there and that's where divine direction comes from.
 
Prov. 4:20-23 (NIV) says, "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Many people get mad at God when hard times come thinking He is silent and doesn't hear their prayers. They are pointing their finger at the wrong person. They need to stand in front of a mirror and ask themselves why they weren't paying attention. Just because they didn't hear anything doesn't mean God wasn't talking to them. You need to learn how God speaks to people and then pay attention to what He says. God tells people to pay attention because they're not doing it. Their hearts and minds are elsewhere and they then wonder why they're not hearing from God. He is speaking but they're not listening and yet God gets the blame for this lack of communication. The answer to all this is that you've got to pay attention when He speaks.
 
The world is a place full of distractions. All kinds of electronic games and devices were created to distract you from the realities of life. If you allow it, you can be continually distracted from those things that are really important in life, things like hearing from God. You can't hear Him when He speaks if your eyes are glued to some smart phone twenty-four hours a day. God will not force you to pay attention to the important things in life but, if you're wise, you will put that phone down and follow the instructions of Prov. 5:1, "My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding." Doing this will protect your life from destruction and will cause you to succeed in life. There are no Spirit led disasters and those who experience such things were not paying attention to God as He was talking to them. This is hard for some people to accept because it's easier to blame God than themselves but it is the truth nonetheless. God was talking but they weren't listening. The good news is that they can pay attention now and God will lead them from chaos to total restoration.
 
Prov. 4:20 (KJV) says, "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings." The YLT says, "To my words give attention." You can give attention to things other than God. You can focus too much on the trial you're facing and not pay attention to God and His solution to the problem. You can't receive a healing if all you do is focus on the symptoms of whatever it is that's attacking you. If you're doing that then you're not hearing from God. He is not leading you to focus on how you feel or to despair over a bad report. What He will do is tell you to not look at the problem but to pay attention to Him. He'll say, "Attend to My words and listen to what I'm saying." Wake up and take your eyes off the evening news and give attention to the words of God. Rom. 8:5 says, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." It matters what you think about, who and what you pay attention to.
 
Is. 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." You need to become more aware of God's presence inside of you, and that He goes wherever you go. You need to pay attention to what He's saying and what He's doing. Heb. 2:1 (AMP) says you "must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth." More times than not, people have heard the answers they're searching for but they didn't pay attention to it and it drifted away. What they need today is the same solution God gave them last year, but because they didn't pay attention to it they've wasted several months looking for a different answer. They're not going to find it because God does not change. The answer He gave them last year is the same answer they need now. God is good and He doesn't make people wait on the answers they're looking for. The problem is that people are not focused on Him and are paying attention to other things.
 
God is telling you what to do. "My son, pay attention to what I say. Attend to My words. Take heed to what I'm telling you." God is speaking but people are not listening because the devil is the master of distraction and he's continually trying to take your focus away from God. He will bombard your mind with thoughts and suggestions and feelings in an effort to get your attention away from where it should be. This is why Prov. 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." God is in your heart and this is from where He will lead you and direct your path. You need to train yourself to pay attention. Go off by yourself and get still before Him. Be quiet and listen for those divine promptings that come to you down in your heart. You are listening and surely He will speak. You will know that you know you've heard from Him. Jesus said the sheep follow the shepherd "for they know his voice" (John 10:4). Never follow any voice other than the one you know is His.
 
Stop thinking so much and start to listen more. What you need is not in your mind, it's in your heart. Knowledge and understanding are good things but the answer you're looking for will come from your heart and not your mind. You've got to have a hunger to hear Him better and then you must put forth some effort to help make this a living reality in your life. Never think you can reason yourself out of every predicament that comes your way on intellect alone. It's not going to happen. More times than not you will be in situation after situation where you don't have the answer you need and you're unable to figure the solution out on your own. You don't know as much as you think you do so if all you're doing is relying on what's in your mind then you will soon experience a rude awakening. What you need is help from above, divine direction that will come to your heart and from there will bring enlightenment to your understanding. God knows everything and He lives in your heart so why try to figure things out on your own? It doesn't make sense if you do.
 
Those whom you think are super spiritual are, in truth, not all that much different from you. What sets them apart is they've learned how to listen to God. To hear from God you've got to first acknowledge Him in all your ways. This means you've got to be continually aware of God's presence inside of you, and you need to be looking to Him night and day. You need to check in with Him concerning everything you say and do. Don't assume anything but humble yourself and ask God for divine direction. When you do that, His Spirit will bear witness with your spirit and you'll know what to do. If you don't seek direction and attend to His words then don't blame God when trouble happens. It is foolishness and ignorance to blame God for your mistakes especially when He was trying to help you all along. He was speaking but you were listening to something else. You need to start paying attention to the voice of God. Every day you have to choose what you're going to listen to. If you make the right choice it will help you whereas the wrong choice will hurt you.
 
Prov. 4:10 says, "Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life will be many." That in itself should motivate you to listen when God speaks. Living a good, long life is not automatic. The length and quality of your life is greatly affected by how well you pay attention to God and esteem His words. Do not disrespect God by being casual in the way you listen. It is possible to hear something but not have it register down in your heart. It is possible to hear and yet not hear (Matt. 13:13). You've got to attend to His words and pay attention to what He is saying. James 1:19 says, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." Most people have this backwards. They're quick to get mad and upset, they're quick to talk, and they're slow to hear. Not everybody is a good listener. One of the most respectful things you can do for another human being is to genuinely listen to them and care about what they're saying. It is hard to do this if you're doing all the talking. This is why you have to talk less and listen more.
 
Prov. 10:19 says, "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." If you're always talking you're missing the mark somewhere, somehow. David said in Ps. 39:1, "I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle while the wicked are before me." The heart of the Father is expressed in Ps. 81:13, "Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!" God wants you to listen to Him but you can't do it if you're always talking. Put a muzzle over your mouth and get quiet. Be still and know He is God. He'll reveal Himself to you by speaking to you but you've got to be quiet and listen. Become a believer who pays attention and listens closely to the words God speaks to you. Prov. 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel." Vs. 7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." You fear God by giving Him respect and showing Him reverence. One way to do this is to take time and listen to what He says.
 
God wants you to listen to Him and do what He says because He wants to abundantly bless your life. This can't happen if you're not paying attention to what He is saying to you. He said in Ex. 15:26, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you." God has many blessings in store for you but first you've got to diligently heed the voice of the Lord and give ear to His commandments. In other words, you've got to listen to Him. Luke 5:15 says, "Then the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities." First the people heard what Jesus said, then they received their blessing. You must grasp the fact that hearing God when He speaks is an indispensable part of receiving your blessing. The people didn't come to just receive their healing, they came to hear Him first.
 
The outcome of your life is based on the decisions you make. Many preachers have falsely taught that God is in control of everything and He's going to do what He wants regardless of what you say and do. That is not true for the decisions you make have everything to do with what happens in your life. God created you with a completely independent free will and you can choose to pay attention to Him or else you can ignore Him when He speaks. The choice is yours. Most people crave the blessings of God but don't want to be still long enough so they can hear from Him. They need to value the words of the Lord who said in John 6:63, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." Decide today to rid your life of all those distractions that would hinder you from spending time alone with God. If you value Him and the words He speaks, you will do everything you can to hear His voice. The good news is that if you're willing to listen, you won't have any problems hearing from Him.
 
Be careful who and what you listen to. It is possible for you to expose yourself to serious harm if you listen to the wrong things. This is why Jesus said, "Take heed what you hear" (Mark 4:24). God's words are full of life and they have the power to set your life on an upward path. His words will heal your body and restore back to you that which was lost. Nothing He says is void of power and this is why the parable of the sower teaches you to keep His words in the midst of your heart. Don't be like those who never hear the Word or have a shallow reception of it if they do. No, have a heart that's made up of good ground that will hear and receive everything God says. This is to be a lifestyle for you and not something you do once a week or when a tragedy occurs. God said in Josh. 1:8, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
 
You have a destiny to fulfill, a mountain to climb, and to reach the summit you must learn to listen to God. You need to learn that God has much in store for your life. He desires you to reach greater heights in life and to gain a new, life changing perspective that will empower you to live the exciting life you were created for. He wants you to soar above the clouds in your relationship with Him and in the thoughts you think about yourself. He wants you to soar in your ministry and in the lives of the ones you love. Above the clouds you see things differently. You see things the way God sees them. His thoughts are above the thoughts of the world and yours must be as well. Commit yourself to live the life God destined you to live. Your life is not an ordinary life and you must have an unusual willingness to mount up with a sense of energy and renewal as you rise high above the clouds and soar as eagles soar. This is your destiny. This is your calling in life. This is the reason God created you in the first place. Indeed, you were born for such a time as this.
 
Life is an adventure full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and everything in between. Still, you have a destiny to fulfill and God wants you to get to the place you're supposed to be. The journey to reach the top of your mountain takes commitment, perseverance, and a willingness to keep going forward no matter what. It will be a climb filled with challenge and struggle but in the end it will be worth whatever it takes to get there. God will direct your steps but you must take the time to listen to Him and hear His voice. Don't plan your time alone with God around your other activities. No, plan your calendar around your time with God. Put Him first in everything you do. People want God to speak to them but aren't willing to make time for Him in their busy schedule. The truth is, if you're too busy for God, you're too busy. You must clear out some space and give God room to speak. When you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). When He does speak, your life will never be the same.
 
When you train yourself to pay attention to God, He will give you opportunities to believe for things you've stopped believing for. The things you once thought were impossible for you to possess and achieve God says are now possible if you will only listen and believe. He will open doors for you that in times past you have closed. Get your hopes up once again and trust God. Don't put your dreams in a box. God is saying to open up that box and soar like an eagle. A doorway of opportunity is opening up for you but you must have the courage to walk through it. It takes courage to do that because on the other side of that door begins the climb to the top of your mountain. That door does not mark the end of your journey but the beginning. It marks the start of an exciting adventure where the only limits are the ones you put there yourself. But if you'll keep at it, if you'll never give up, there is no telling how far you can go and how much you can accomplish in the kingdom of God. It's what you've been born to do.
 
The choice is yours. Will you climb that mountain or won't you? You can't ask God to fix your marriage if you're not willing to take the climb to fix it. If you want God to do something for you then you will have to go on a journey with Him. It's a journey to the top of your mountain, a journey that will take you above the clouds. Most people don't believe for big dreams because the climb is too difficult for them. With big dreams come big trials and most people can't handle the scrapes and bruises of such a climb. They're not willing to pay the price that comes with every big dream. They prefer to camp at the base of the mountain where they think it's safe. Little do they realize that one day they will bow down before God and be asked why they didn't make the climb. God wants you to climb your mountain and there is a price to pay for not doing so. You can pay the price now or you can pay the price later. The choice is yours. Don't hesitate another moment. Put one foot in front of the other and trust God to lead you every step of the way.
 
As you get closer to the top of your mountain you'll have to limit the amount of talking you do. You must save your oxygen so don't talk to people you shouldn't be talking to. Don't get caught up in conversations with people who can't help you get to where you're going. Not only will you have to overcome the doubt in your life, you will have to overcome their doubt as well. Besides, you shouldn't be talking when you're supposed to be climbing. You won't reach the place God wants you to be if you're always stopping to talk to people you shouldn't be speaking with. There is a place you're supposed to be so don't let these people keep you from your miracle. Don't allow them to take you down the mountain when you're trying to go up the mountain. You need to stop talking and keep climbing. When you stop, the people behind you have to stop as well because you're blocking their way. Not only do you want to go higher in life, you want to help others go higher also.
 
The conversations you have will either help you go up the mountain or leave you stranded on the ledge. Be careful who you talk to on your climb. If there are questions in your mind, don't talk to people who don't have the answers. Talk to people who are well grounded in the Word and allow them to help you take one more step up that mountain. You are on a mission and you must make everything and everyone who is not helping you get out of your way. Remove the roadblocks and do it immediately. No loitering allowed! Talking not permitted! Also, don't be satisfied until you reach the top of your mountain. Don't allow yourself to feel satisfied because you've climbed halfway. Satisfaction may cause you to ponder going back down the mountain if you see that rocks and boulders are blocking your path. No, gird up your strength and climb over those big rocks that stand in your way. You've come too far to back up now.
 
It can be intimidating to face the challenge of a climb without knowing what lies ahead. This is why you have "to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). Your climb is a journey of faith and this means you're not always going to have all the answers to your questions. God is telling you to trust Him anyway and keep climbing. He sees the end from the beginning and this is why in faith you can "know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28). The answers you seek are in front of you and this is why you must keep climbing. You don't wait for the answers to come to you, you go to the answers. If all you do is wait for the answers then you'll spend your entire life camped at the base of the mountain. You won't go anywhere and you'll do nothing significant with your life. To sit and do nothing is to forfeit the most important lesson you could ever be taught about the love and character of God, the lesson that He is a God who can be trusted.
 
The higher you climb, the more the character of God is revealed to you. God is moving behind the scenes and this is why you have to trust Him and keep climbing. Understand that faith and trust go hand in hand. Faith is what you're hoping for, trust is who you're hoping in. Faith says "God can," trust says "God is." The degree to which you genuinely know who God is determines the degree to which you can believe God can. Your job is to not talk yourself into a miracle but to wake up each morning and be so in tune with the Lord  that you know His heart and who He is. That way when a trial comes your way and faith is needed you'll have something to work with. You've spent time alone with God and you know who He is as a person. You know His heart and the great love He has for you. Because of that, you trust Him and that is when faith comes alive. It's what gives you the perseverance to keep climbing and before long God will be doing things for you and, more important, through you. It is at this time that you've risen above the clouds.
 
In life there are many people who begin their climb up the mountain but very few who reach the top. They're great starters but poor finishers. Just because there is a plan in place to help you finish your climb does not mean the journey is always going to be smooth. Life's journey can be a struggle but God can use those hard times to bring good into your life. Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Life can be a struggle. Things don't happen as they should and other things may take longer to happen as you'd like. People are always in a hurry to get their prayers answered and to them God says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10). God will almost always tell you to wait but very rarely will He tell you to hurry up. He is more concerned with what He can do inside of you than what He can do for you on the outside. Where He's taking you is less important than what's He's doing in you.
 
You have dreams and, yes, reaching the top of the mountain is very important. God would not have told you to start climbing if He didn't want you to reach the top. You need to understand that the fulfillment of your destiny is only half the story. The other half, and probably the most important half, is who and what you become in the process. God is trying to mold and shape you into His image and this is what needs to be taking place on your journey. What good is reaching the top if your life is in shambles when you get there? This is what happens when you take the easy path up the mountain. God's attitude is "no pain, no gain" and this is why He will direct you to take the hardest route to the top. Struggle is a part of life because we live in a hopelessly broken world. To help make you strong God will take you on the long way up the mountain instead of the shortest and fastest way. You will need endurance and perseverance on this path and it only comes when you face head on the trials of life and not run away from them.
 
God is not the author of struggle but He can use it and turn it into your strength. He is more interested in the person you can become than in your comfort. Circumstances will come up and it takes longer for them to change than you'd like. Sometimes God will seem to be a million miles away. What's happening here? God is teaching you to trust Him even in the midst of your darkest hour. He wants you to believe and know that no matter how it may appear, you are never alone. He is a God who is with you every step of the way even though you may not sense His presence. When you realize you're not alone, that God is working in you and through you, you will have the courage and strength to keep going. James 1:2-4 (MSG) says, "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
 
God has a gift for you. It's called hardship, struggle, not getting your own way. Trials and persecution can be a gift if you see them as God sees them. These are the things God uses to make you strong. Remember, no pain, no gain. He doesn't bring the struggle but as long as it's here He'll use it to help mold you into His image. You'll pray more, trust Him more, walk in faith more. You're becoming stronger and stronger on your way up the mountain and will come to realize that what you're becoming is more important than where you're going. It's the journey that makes you a strong, mature Christian. Nobody said this was fun and easy but it is worth it. After all, it's a gift from God. Look at your trial as God giving you the opportunity to become more like Him. See your struggle as a gift from God for it gives Him the opportunity to work His goodness in you. God is building something inside of you where you'll come out a better person, a better Christ follower, a more mature believer. That should be the primary reason you climb.
 


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