Monday, May 19, 2014

Pay attention...

Week 21:

I Samuel 3:8-10 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”  Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”  Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Over the last few years I have been seeking and listening for God’s voice.  One of the things I have had to do is to find some discipline in order to hear from God.  I’ve said this many times before, but I have never heard the audible voice of God.  In fact, no on I currently know has reported they have either.  However, in my search I have run across several instances with God as He has revealed Himself.

Many times, I catch myself ending my questions and challenges list with a “pay attention” passage.  Apparently, I am practicing this discipline.  I wrote an article on my former blog titled Random Ramblings, where I had been introduced to the thought of paying attention to random thoughts.  I furthered my quest with the reading of several books around spiritual disciplines, silence, and simplicity:  Celebration of Discipline, The Good and Beautiful God, Experiencing God, and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. Each of these has helped me look for God in other places besides what I think would be ideal. 

One over-looked area for me has still been in the area of paying attention.  So much of my time, I want to talk to God, talk about God, work for God, serve God, worship God…all the while expecting to hear God.  While all of these are good and important, I do not do enough paying attention to God.  I do not do enough paying attention to what is going on around me and noticing how God is working.  I am getting better, but not consistent.  It’s funny, as a teacher, coach, and now principal, paying attention is a large part of my job. 

Last year, I wrote blog articles about loving God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength.  Three of these especially relate closely to paying attention.  With my heart, I am to pay attention to my emotions.  Where do they come from?  Where are they leading me?  What is God telling me as I experience my emotions? 

With my soul, I am to pay attention to how my spirit relates with the Holy Spirit.  What is God leading me to know and do?  Where is His Spirit soothing, healing, guiding, building, and/or filling my soul?  What do I learn about the character of God as He relates to me through His Spirit?

With my mind, I am to pay attention to thoughts.  Which thoughts are mine?  Which thoughts are coming from God?  Why do I have thoughts that seem random?  I believe that this is where I am to start when it comes to listening for God’s voice and following His direction.  In 2 Peter 1:5-9, Peter lists several character traits.  Within that list is knowledge which seems to tie closely together with the rest. 

Working through some of the disciplines in order to begin to pay attention to thought has allowed me to begin to notice God at work more frequently.  I said, “…begin to notice”.  God has been working all along, I just now am beginning to notice and recognize Him at work.  This recognition has also allowed me a ticket into my emotional world where God also resides.  I have begun to feel His presence in different ways than just joy.  And, I have been prompted by His Spirit in many ways to see Him at work in supernatural ways.  Ways that can only be explained by God. 

It is early in this journey.  The continual challenge for me is to pay attention. 


1.      When it comes to the Kingdom of God, what comes to mind when I say, “Pay attention?”
2.      In quiet times, what have you noticed as random thoughts?
3.      Upon reflecting on those thoughts, could some of those been planted by God?
4.      What message do you suppose God is sending you?
5.      What action do you suppose God is calling you to take in relation to those thoughts?
6.      This week, pay attention to your random thoughts.  When you experience them, stop and ask God for more guidance.  Then read His word and share with others your thoughts.  Watch what happens next.

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