Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything, but God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Psalm 81 (NRSV)
Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
O that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him,
and their doom would last forever.
I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
If we would only LISTEN. Psalm 81 is simply about LISTENING. This passage starts with a call to worship God in music. For me, the easiest time to LISTEN to God’s call is when surrounded by music.
We all want the best for our churches. To discover what is best, we need to put our wants and desires on the back burner. Our churches have to LISTEN to what God wants.
Many times there are so many things going on in our lives that they keep us from hearing God’s will. We try to do it everything by ourselves, getting in the way of God’s clear message. We have to LISTEN!
The highlight of my summer each year is the week I spend at Crystal Springs for Junior Camp. During the week I usually lead vespers one night. The hardest thing for me each year is being quiet long enough to hear what God wants me to say rather than what I might think I need or want to say. At the same time, I think God ministers through people, so ask God to use your experiences along with God’s message to reach people. I have to LISTEN.
Dear God, help me to be silent. Help me to find you in the silence and minister the way you would have me minister. Amen.
Go with God.