How to heed God’s guidance

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Father God,
How grateful I am for Your ever-present help.
I know it’s not You who fails, but rather I who fail to listen.
May I work harder to quiet my own thoughts, so that I can better hear You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Genesis 6:12-14a, 22

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In a short few verses, much happens. God sees His creation. He’s disappointed. He decides to destroy it all, spare one man. God doesn’t have to, but He shares much with Noah. God explains what He’s going to do, why He’s going to do it and exactly what Noah needs to do beforehand. And Noah faithfully follows through.

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Both my boys stared at me like I had French fries sticking out of my ears. Yet I felt as if steam was pouring out of them. I was beyond frustrated.

“I don’t get,” I said as I tried to explain my frustration. “You both should’ve known better…”

In their rush to hurry up and get a little cartoons in before heading off to school, both boys had dumped bowls still half-full of milk and cereal in the top rack of the dishwasher. And not carefully, either. Milk was dripping down the doors of surrounding cabinets. A good-sized puddle of sticky, sweet milk on the floor was being lapped up by the dog and cat. Soggy bits of milk-soaked cereal clung to nearly ever surface—top and bottom—of the dishwasher. This was not a great start to the morning for any of us.

Their response was simultaneously not surprising yet disappointing.

“But you didn’t tell us to empty them…”

Are. You. Kidding me?! Sure. Granted, I hadn’t told them that specific morning. But we’d had that exact same conversation over and over and over again. We’d had the conversation so often that my husband was tired of hearing it. They were trying to skate by on a technicality. But I knew better. We all knew better.

No one knows for sure whether God spoke audibly to Noah or not. But, frankly, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Noah heard—and heeded Him. And we can do the same.

God hasn’t all of a sudden gone silent. In fact, we’ve got several big helps that Noah didn’t. We have God’s written Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16), the example set for us by Jesus (1 John 2:6) and the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). God’s speaking to our hearts loud and clear. All we need to do is store it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11)—and heed it.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.
Psalm 28:7a (ESV)

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During challenging moments, what tends to have a stronger tug on you than God’s voice?

What is a specific way you can work to push the “pause” button? How can you build in more time so that you can more intentionally respond rather than react?

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