Have you ever wondered, “What exactly are you saying to me, God?” Now I know that reading our Bible helps us to know what God is saying. God makes it pretty clear in His Word about what’s really important in life. Loving God and loving others are probably the most important things we will ever do. God also makes it clear how very much He loves us – enough to give His Son Jesus for us! Wow! But what about the day to day stuff? What about how to discipline my kids or what to do when everything seems to be going wrong? What about finding a job or what to do when I’m feeling frustrated? Of course we sometimes have those, “Why me?” situations too.
Maybe you’ve felt a nudge from God and wondered if you were really hearing from Him? I know I have. Maybe like me, you have had the urge to pray for someone or call someone, yet you questioned whether God was really speaking to you or not. Instead of questioning those urges, let’s act on them. Most of the time, urges to pray, call or do something nice for someone else is definitely in line with what God wants us to do. Why is it so hard to act on those urges? Is it because we are too busy? Is it because there are so many things that distract us?
I have found that when I’m really busy and my family tries to talk to me, I only catch about half of what they are saying. I’ve had to stop a few times and ask, “Can you please repeat what you just said?” or “What did you say?” I wonder if that’s our response to God. “What did you say, Lord? I wasn’t listening. I was distracted by all the noise around me.”
Noah walked with God. He listened and obeyed everything that God said. How is that Noah was able to discern God’s voice amidst the other noises of the time in which he lived? I think it was because he did walk with God. To walk with someone, you need to actively pursue going somewhere with them. It means getting away from your other activities and responsibilities to be with the person you are walking with. You can’t walk with someone and also be doing your laundry or writing a report for work or running your child to soccer practice.
How can we know what God is saying to us? Stop, take the time and listen. Listen to what He says in His word, the Bible. Listen in church, listen to others who are walking with God. Ask God to help you listen and to know what He is saying. He will show you because He loves you and He wants relationship with you. He wants to walk and talk with you more than you desire to walk and talk with Him. Then the next time you get a little urge to pray for someone, invite someone to church or encourage a friend, act on it and see what God does. Then on those days when everything seems to go wrong and we really don’t know what to do, we can take comfort knowing that God truly is with us. Those frustrating circumstances are much easier to face when we are walking with and taking time to listen to God.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
So often when I sit to journal or blog my thoughts, I realize that it’s really me you are talking to. I admit God, that I’ve been asking, “What are you saying to me, Lord?” a lot lately. I’ve been wondering if I am really hearing from you and doing what you want me to do. I think that I am and yet, it seems like what I am doing is not really going very far. Am I bearing fruit? Am I loving like you love? My desire, Lord, is to tell the next generation of your marvelous deeds. I want to help others see and know that your love is great, that God answers prayer and that Jesus wants to be Savior, Lord and friend. I want my kids, my grandkids and beyond to truly know you and love you with all their hearts. God, show me how I can lift up your name. Teach me, like Noah, to walk and talk with you every single day of my life. That’s what I want for the next generation too. Let it be so, Jesus. Let it be so. Amen
WAYS TO HEAR FROM GOD
- Read God’s Word – That’s one very good way that God speaks to us. Set aside a time to read – make it a priority. Yes, it is as important as brushing your teeth.
- Pray – Ask God for clear direction. He wants to give us direction more than we want to hear.
- Listen to wise counsel – wise, godly people. Watch the “fruit” or outcomes of their lives and if what they do adds up to what they say – if their integrity shows, then listen.
- Do good – When you feel a nudge or urge to do something good, do it! – call someone, send a card, just let someone know that you care.
- Be silent, still and listen – when you are reading God’s Word or praying. Ask God, “What are you saying to me through what I just read?’
- Line up every decision with God’s Word – If you are thinking about doing something that doesn’t line up with God’s Word, then that is very good indicator that you shouldn’t do it.
- Listen to your conscience – God can speak through our conscience. He gave us a conscience for a reason.
- Do my actions honor God and others – My son asks his kids when a problematic situation comes up, “Does this honor God and honor others?” or “Are you loving God and loving others?” These questions are good for our kids and also for us. If our actions or what we want to do is not honoring to God or others, then you can be sure, it’s not what God wants.
SHARE A STORY: Noah Builds An Ark – Genesis 6
Noah loved and walked with God everyday. (Walk in place and give a thumbs up. “Yeah!”) Noah obeyed God too. He followed God’s rules and He did what God wanted him to do even when no one else did. (Thumbs up. “Yeah!”) God was happy with Noah. He knew that Noah loved and obeyed Him with all his heart. (Thumbs up. ”Yeah!“)
But God wasn’t happy with the other people on earth. (Thumbs down.“Boo!”) They were doing very bad things. (Thumbs down. “Boo!”) The other people on earth didn’t love God and obey God. (Thumbs down. “Boo!”) They didn’t follow God’s rules. Instead they lived just for themselves and did mean things. (Thumbs down. “Boo!”)
Because the people were being very, very bad, (Thumbs down. “Boo!”) God decided to send a BIG storm and flood the whole earth, but He wanted Noah to be safe. (Make waves with hands and a circle with hands for whole earth.) God told Noah, “I want you to build a BIG Ark boat (Show Ark box.) to keep you and your family safe.” (Pretend to hammer and saw.) God told Noah exactly how to build the Ark. (Pretend to hammer and saw again.) He told Noah how tall and long to build it. (Reach up high and then reach wide.) He told him what kind of wood to use. He told Noah everything he needed to know. (Touch fingertips to forehead for know.) He also told Noah to take animals with him on the boat so that they would be safe too. He told him to take two of most animals and seven of some kinds of animals. (Hold up fingers for two and count for seven.)
Did Noah do what God asked him to do? Yes, he did! (Thumbs up. “Yeah!”) Noah was brave. He listened and built the Ark boat exactly like God told him to. It took Noah a long, long time to build the Ark and the other people laughed at him. Did he stop building when people laughed at him? No! He did everything just like God said and he didn’t give up! (Thumbs up. “Yeah!”) He kept right on building until the Ark was done.
Noah finished the job God gave him to do and you can do what God wants you to do too. You can be brave and follow God’s directions just like Noah did. God will help you. (Thumbs up. “Yeah!”) Noah wasn’t afraid to do what God asked, because He knew that God loved him and would help him with everything.
PRAYER: Dear God,Thank you for loving and caring for me. I want to listen and do what you want me to do just like Noah did. I need your help to be a good listener and follow you. Help me to obey mom and dad too and help me be brave instead of afraid. Amen
MEMORIZE: Hebrews 13:6 ERV (Hold hands open like holding a book.)
The Lord – (Point up.)
Is my helper – (Point to self.)
I will not – (Hands open, move away from each other.)
Be afraid – (Put hands by face and make scared face.)
KNOW: I’m not afraid to follow God’s directions because He loves me.
TALK ABOUT: Following God’s directions.
ASK: Who loves You? God loves me.
AND DO: Be brave and follow God’s directions.
Follow mom and dad’s directions too.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
* Have fun building something with your child using blocks, Legos® or anything you desire. Noah built a boat following God’s directions. What can you build? If you follow God’s directions, can you build a strong family? Parents, can you build a legacy?
* Play a simple game of “Follow the Leader” or give your child simple, fun directions to follow to help build their listening skills.