TUESDAY, JANUARY 2
“ He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’”
John 21:3 ESV
FRESH STARTS: LISTENING
Nicky Gumbel, in his book Questions of Life, compares prayer to a visit to the doctor. He writes, “Suppose I go to the doctor and say, ‘Doctor, I have a number of problems: I have a problem of fungus growing under my toenails, I have piles, my eyes itch, I need a flu jab; I have very bad backaches and I have tennis elbow.’ Then, having got through my list of complaints, I look at my watch and say, ‘Goodness me, time is getting on. Well, I must be off. Thanks very much for listening.’ The doctor might want to say, ‘Hang on a second. Why don’t you listen to me?’ If whenever we pray we only speak to God and never take time to listen, we make the same mistake.”
In John 21, Jesus told the disciples to put their fishing nets back in the water on the right side of the boat. At that point they could have dismissed His words as impractical and irrelevant or taken the time to listen. They choose to listen. The word ‘obedience,’ comes from the Latin obaudire, which means ‘to hear.’ By contrast the Latin word for ‘deaf’ is absurdus, from which we get our word ‘absurd.’ To truly hear Christ is to obey him; not to hear and obey is the way of absurdity in living.
God speaks to us through His Creation, His Word, circumstances, other people and prayer. We should treat prayer for what it is, a two way conversation with God, and learn to be quiet long enough for him to get a word in edgeways. Can you remember anything God told you in 2017? How did He tell you? What regular time do you have set aside to listen to God? Reading the book of Proverbs is a great way to get wisdom from God. A good habit is to read daily the Proverb that corresponds to the day of the month. For instance today is January 2nd. Read Proverbs 2 and ask God to speak to you. What did God say to you through Proverbs 2?