Learning from The Chilean Miners’ Rescue By Dennis Owen

“A Closer Look at the Arts of Listening to God”

The primary verse that I suggest we consider is Proverbs 8:32-36: “Now therefore, O sons, listen to Me, for blessed are they who keep My ways. Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at My doorposts. For he who finds Me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against Me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death.” There are three key words which we must consider: (1) listen; (2) watching; and (3) waiting. The promise is in verse 35: (1) “When you find Me you find life!” (2) “You will obtain favor from the Lord.” But we must listen, watch, and wait to find the Lord. Psalm 84:1-12, especially Psalm 84:10, shows an example of a listening prayer experience from the life of David: “For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of My God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (I would rather be a doorkeeper.)” David knew the art of waiting at the threshold of the door of the house of God.

This is the art of listening, waiting and watching. But the primary verse I want to draw to your attention is Isaiah 50:4,5: “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord God has opened by ear; and I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back.” I have prayed these verses over my own life and asked that I be given a listening ear. But I have learned over the years that we do not each “hear” in the same manner. Certainly the fear of being open to the “wrong spirits” or being led astray by the enemy is a major obstacle to hearing God speaking. But if If you can respond to the following statements affirmatively, then rest assured that God is speaking to you:

1. What I heard helps me to respect (fear) the Lord and to depart from evil (Job 28:28).

2. The message increases my faith in or my knowledge and understanding of Scripture (Proverbs 4:7).

3. The actions that will result from following this will be full of spiritual fruits: purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, courtesy, good deeds, sincerity, and without hypocrisy (James 3:17).

4. What I heard strengthens me “with all might” so that I can keep going no matter what happens (Colossians 1:11).

5. It causes me to experience joyfulness and thanksgiving to the Father (Colossians 1:12).

As we waited in anticipation of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, Christians from around the entire globe practiced this ongoing activity of listening, waiting and watching. As we watched television we saw American technological assistance, Chilean courage, global prayers, and God’s grace! It was certainly a proud and joyous moment for all the world last night, especially the people of Chile! Let’s commit ourselves to these skills so that we will truly find Him and obtain favor from the Lord. Let us be alert and learn the lost arts of communion with our Lord through our prayer experience.

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