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Listening To God

Why is it that we make life so complicated? Sometimes we are so sure of how God will answer our prayers that we ignore what He’s telling us and head in a completely opposite direction. I think that much of this is caused by our inflated egos. For some reason, we fail to heed words of the prophet Isaiah when he said that God doesn’t think like humans (Is 55:8-9). We often get ourselves into trouble when we create a pre-conceived idea of how The Lord should answer our intentions.

One of the best Biblical examples of this can be found in 2 Kings 5:1-15, in which Naaman the Syrian sought a cure for his leprosy. When sent to the prophet Elisha, he didn’t like the answer that he received. He found the prophet’s advice of washing 7 times in the Jordan River to be unacceptable, believing that the rivers of Damascus would prove more effective. After leaving Elisha’s house angrily, Naaman’s servants convinced him to try bathing in the Jordan. Much to his astonishment… he was healed!

While it’s important that we speak to God, we must also listen. A few years ago, I was unhappy with my job so I prayed and prayed for a transfer to a different department. I was sure that The Lord would answer my prayers by allowing me to get the other position. After several months I discovered that I didn’t get the job, but I realized that I now enjoyed my current job. My prayer was answered in a way that I didn’t anticipate. Many of us have suffered through the illness of a relative or friend. Despite our petitions, sometimes the situation has ended with no physical healing or even in death. What we often fail to see is that instead of a physical healing, an emotional healing or conversion takes place.

So the next time that your prayers go unanswered, take a look at the situation and see if maybe they have been answered – in a different way. Then, like Naaman, you can rejoice and proclaim the praises of the one, true God!

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