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Are You Preparing Yourself to Hear From the Lord?
James Tollett – August 30, 2013

If you have been following the Bible reading schedule that our ministry provides for you on-line at www.jtmin.org/read.html, then you have currently been reading through the book of Psalms.  Psalms covers many topics: covenant, sin, comfort, praise, and so forth.  However, as I have worked my way through the psalms this year, I have been amazed at how many psalms address the issue of preparing yourself to hear from the Lord.

Over and over again, the psalmist points out the flaws in the lives of the Israelites.  As the people of God, they had sinned and they had not repented.  They had not appropriately prepared themselves to worship God.  It is because of this fleeting, on-again off-again, relationship with the Lord that they had the problems that they were experiencing, including the Babylonian captivity.

I am afraid that many believers today have some of the same characteristics as the Israelites that we read about in the book of Psalms.  All too often, we as believers go to church, and by our attitude we say, “Lord, I am here, speak if You have something to say.”  We do not prepare our hearts truly to hear from the Lord, we do not repent of any sins that we might have committed.  The truth is: like the Israelites, we have failed God on many occasions.  No wonder we do not hear from Heaven; we have not prepared ourselves to hear from the Lord!

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we find an answer to this problem: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (NIV).  This verse speaks of preparation.  We must prepare to hear from the Lord.

We find a good example of what we should do in Acts 10.  Cornelius was a devout man.  He loved God and had taught his family to love God.  In Acts 10:24-33, we read how Cornelius and others were expectantly waiting for Peter to come and share a word from the Lord.  Cornelius had placed himself and his family in a position to hear from God.

Scripture does not specifically state what Cornelius and others did in preparation for Peter’s visit.  I imagine, though, that they spent time praying, and blessing the Lord and each other.  Perhaps they sang some of the psalms.  I believe they were getting themselves in a position not only to hear from the Lord, but to receive and to become a blessing.

As believers, we need to prepare our hearts to hear from God.  How do we do that?  Let me share a little of my background.  When I was a teenager, I spent a great deal of time at the church—not just during church service times, but throughout the week.  For some reason, the pastor gave me a key to the church.  There were times, therefore, when I would go when no one else was in the church building.  During these times, I would pray, repent of any sins that I knew I had done, profess the promises in God’s Word, beat out a worship song on an old guitar, preach to myself, meditate on a passage of Scripture, and wait on the Lord.  There was never a time when I went to the church, either by myself or during a normal church service, that God did not meet me there.

My challenge to you this week is the same one found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  I challenge you to find a place and a time to prepare your heart to hear from the Lord.  It may be at your bedside, in your office, or out in a vacant field.  I can’t tell you the number of times that I have had a great time with the Lord while driving—just me, a praise disk, and the Lord.  Are you preparing yourself to hear from the Lord?  I hope you are.

Until next week, I am James Tollett, you missionary to America.