In the annals of Christian history there have been men and women who have accomplished great things for God. We study the lives of these individuals to see if there is a lesson for us as we seek to be faithful servants of God. We look at such men as Moses who overcame his fears and shortcomings to be a great leader of God’s people. We study David, the “man after God’s own heart” in hopes that we may overcome giants. We follow Paul’s ministry with the hope that we might replicate his zealous approach to missions and evangelism. We consider Martin Luther’s bold actions, John Wesley’s sacrificial journeys, and Billy Graham’s humble faith, and we wonder what propelled these individuals to achieve great things.
If you look at any single hero of the faith you might miss the point. They each had character strengths that made them the right person for the occasion. We may admire their work, but we may never be able to replicate their character.
No, if you really want to learn the secret of spiritual victory do not study any one… study them all. What is the overriding characteristic of each of these, and of the countless others we do not have time to include in this article? What is that common ground on which each of these have stood? To put it most simply it is “spiritual receptivity.”
Spiritual receptivity is the ability to listen to God. The awareness of His presence, and the faith to see the direction He wishes to take you. Moses developed this ability at the burning bush. David was listening to God when he picked out 5 stones from the riverbed. Paul heard God’s invitation to go to Macedonia. Luther was in tune with God as he penned his “99 Thesis.” Graham ignored logic and listened to God as he planned the first of his many crusades. Of all the personality traits, of all the characteristics that these individuals may have possessed, the ability to listen when God is speaking is by far the main ingredient to accomplishing great things for our Lord.
I believe God is speaking today… but are we listening? Only when we listen and act will we see the mighty work of God accomplished.
May God help us slow down and listen. Then may He give us the courage to act.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches….” Revelation 2:11a (KJV)