July 4 - Can You Hear Me Now?

By Julie Kraus

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 18:13

Central Thought: God can do more when we talk less and listen more.

    'If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13).

    It was a cold, windy winter day, and I was congested. Even my ears were plugged, and I could hardly hear. Out to the store I trudged to pick up some essentials, hoping to avoid talking to anyone. As I walked out of the store past someone fund-raising, I vaguely heard the individual cheerfully call something out to me. I politely replied, 'No, thank you.” As I walked to my car, I slowly realized what the person said: 'Have a nice day!” I have laughed at myself over that for years. If only I had heard what was said before I responded.

    Talking can be highly overrated. We tend to think we can talk our way out of anything. In conflict, we are convinced that if we just explain what we mean, everything will be cleared up. So we try to outtalk each other, and the more we talk, the worse it gets.

    A few years ago, when we were praying for direction from the Lord, our family received an unusual card in the mail. It had Exodus 13:14 in French on the front. Translated, it said, 'Don't say a word, and God will fight for you.” We knew that God was speaking to us. We kept quiet and discovered what the children of Israel discovered. God can work more mightily through our silence than through our words.

    Are you facing a challenge? Are you in a conflict situation or looking for God's direction? Whatever your situation, you may want to wait and let God speak on your behalf. 'But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (Psalm 38:15).

Devotional Prayer: Father, forgive me for talking when I really should be listening. Make me sensitive to Your voice in every situation.

Today's Bible Reading: 2 Kings 23:31-25:30; Acts 22:17-23:10; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 18:13