O is for Observation

The question is never  “Does God speak?’’ but rather ‘‘Am I listening?’’

To best hear what God has to say to you, you must still your heart. Set aside your pressing demands. Turn off all your electronic distractions. Rarely does God shout to make himself heard!

As the Spirit highlights that one single thought, observe carefully what the verse says. Think about to whom the passage was originally addressed and why it was written. Ponder its meaning, its tone, its purpose. Take several moments to meditate on it, to let its message soak clear through to your heart.

The first and most important commandment of all, according to Jesus, is to ‘‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’’  That means He doesn’t want you to disengage your brain as you listen for His voice. Have you ever noticed how often in Scripture God requires His servants to ‘‘ observe’’ something in order to learn a divine lesson from it?

Observation PinPonder just a few examples:

• ‘‘ Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.’’

• ‘‘ Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.’’

‘‘ Consider Abraham: ’He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.’’

‘‘ He [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins.’’

Now it’s your chance to do some careful observing and considering of your own. Ponder the message God has highlighted for you. Write out in manuscript form what you observe. It may be only a paragraph or perhaps a few sentences. The important thing is to put pen to paper and make an observation in your journal. Take into context the setting and the situation. Make an observation of what’s happening, who’s affected, what’s taking place. This will increase your comprehension and develop your observation skills.

Divine Mentor

This post is an adapted from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, The Divine Mentor. Check back here all this week for in-depth discussion of how Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer work together as we seek God in our individual quiet time.