Excuse me, could you direct me to the promised land?

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Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

It is among popular "Christian" belief that an abundance of material and other blessings follow those whose hearts are truly after God and that those who seem to consistently struggle to that end, cannot possibly be in God's perfect will. I want to submit to you a realization I had about this very thing. I think we might have it all backwards.

Almost all the great men of faith I've read about in the Bible had to spend some time in the wilderness. Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, just to name a few.

God had to make them desperate. He had to cause them to be quiet and undistracted enough to hear His still, small voice. He had to make them hungry and thirsty enough to cry out for a miracle.

Interestingly, the word for wilderness, in Hebrew, is "meed-bahr". And meed-bahr comes from the word "leh-da-behr", which means to speak. Hmmm.

Some of us are walking through the desert right now. It's hot by day — there is only rugged, thorny, sandy terrain for miles and miles and there seems no end. By night, the wind is unbearably cold and we stumble over things we can barely see. Snakes and scorpions live here. It seems like a lonely place.

But this is actually a place of blessing! It is for our growth, and ultimately for our prosperity that God has brought us here! Like it or not, the wilderness is where He can speak to us most effectively. It is the place He can most easily get our attention. It is the place we will cry out to God and truly listen for His voice.

Know that God is with you today! He is walking along with us through this wilderness and longing to comfort us! If we would only cry out to Him and heed His voice! The promised land awaits! And there's so much work to be done!!

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Long time – no hear!

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by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy News

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

An Indian was walking in downtown New York City alongside a resident friend. As they approached a busy street corner in the center of Manhattan, the Indian seized his friend's arm and whispered, "Wait. I hear a cricket." "Come on!", the city boy sneered, "This is downtown New York — how could you possibly hear a cricket?" His friend persisted however, "No – seriously, I do!"

As cars were roaring, horns honking, people shouting, brakes screeching, cash registers clanging, subway clamoring and people bustling about, the Indian began leading his friend along slowly, every now and again stopping and turning his ear toward the seemingly noiseless sound. At last, the Indian insisted they were near and proceeded to follow the sound across the street and toward a small dark corner next to a graffiti covered wall. There, he bent down to a minuscule tuft of grass and pulled out the cricket. "I told, you", he said, "I heard a cricket."

Astounded, the New Yorker marveled "How could you have heard that cricket in the middle of all this noise?" "Well", said his foreign friend, "My ears are different from yours. It simply depends on what you're listening to. Here, let me show you what I mean." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of change –a couple of quarters, three or four nickels, and a dime and a few pennies. "Now," he said, "watch this." He held the coins waist high and dropped them to the sidewalk. At once, every head within nearly a block turned around and looked in the direction of the Indian.

"You see, It all depends on what you're listening to."

To what sounds are our ears trained to listen? Are they trained to hear the sound of money, of gossip, of complaining, of worldly things or are they trained to hear the still small voice of the Most High, directing and advising us in the way we should go?

Let's ask the Lord to train our ears to hear the things of God today. We need to be listening for His direction in the hustle and bustle of this noisy and influential world or we will surely go astray!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Listen

Listen Carefully!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Listen

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

"Before refrigerators, people used ice-houses to preserve their food. Ice-houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut from the frozen waters, hauled to the ice-houses, and covered with sawdust. Often these ice-blocks would last well into the summer.

One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice-house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice-house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.

Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.

"I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking." (story taken from "Directions" by James Hamilton)

So often life can become so hectic that it becomes hard to find time to sit still and just listen to what the Lord is saying. But Jesus often secluded himself, so that He could commune intimately with His Father. In these days and in this hour it's so imperative that we spend time in our own prayer closets, so we can clearly hear what our Father is saying to us, through His still small voice. If we do, we may find some wonderful and valuable things that others have missed.

The question isn't whether God will speak, but whether we will take the time to be quiet and still enough to hear His voice. Let's be sure to take that time to hear what He's saying to us!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Listen

Never Underestimate a babe!

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Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

I heard this story about a professional golfer playing in Los Angeles one year of his career. The only caddy available was young and inexperienced. So, before they teed off, the golfer told him, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no — nothing else"

During one round, the golfer found his ball next to a tree, where he had to hit under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down on his knees and looked through the trees and sized up the shot.

"What do you think?" he asked the young caddy, not really wanting his opinion. "Five-iron?"

"No," he replied. "What do you mean, not a five-iron?!" the pro-golfer snorted. "Watch this shot. "Again, the caddy insisted. "No-o-o."

But the ball was hit beautifully, and stopped a shocking two feet from the hole. The pro turned to his caddy, handed him the five-iron and said, "Now then young lad, what do you think about that?

"But…" the caddy said, "That wasn't your ball."

If it's one thing we've learned, it's that we need to listen to others. We have so much to learn from one another — especially the young! We may have some great ideas but the Lord may well more for us and He wants us to keep an open ear! There's so much work to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Listen

Are you listening?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Listen

James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile and saying all the usual things at those White House receptions. So, one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand, he flashed his big smile and said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." People would automatically respond with comments such as "How lovely." or "Continue on with your great work." Nobody listened to what he was saying, except for one foreign diplomat. When the president said, "I murdered my grandmother this morning," the diplomat responded softly, "I'm sure she had it coming to her.

"It's a funny story, but how often do we do the same? It seems that we have lot's to say but we are not very good at listening. Think about it — how many language, speech and speaking courses can you find in your college course book? But can you find even one class on listening?? There is such a lack of good listening skills in this day and age that we have to pay someone a lot of money just to listen to us! More importantly, God has many things He desires to reveal to us — but we're always talking, talking, talking!

Let's strive to do less talking and more listening today. Let's give the Lord and others a chance to be heard.

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