It’s audio devo day!
Have you ever desperately needed an answer from God about what decision to make… spent much time in prayer… and heard nothing? What is happening there? Join me this week as we look into a vitally important secret to hearing from Jesus… right here:
(Know someone else that needs to hear this today? You can either share today’s blog link with them, or look up my Feeding on Jesus podcast for sharing and subscribing. You’ll find it at these links on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and most other podcast platforms, with episodes identical to these audio devos!)
“At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: ‘O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike’” (Matt 11:25, NLT).
Does this verse sound familiar? Well, it should because this is my third week sharing it with you. 😁 Holy Spirit said that we need to look at it again. There is yet more here for us.
Let me explain. To do so, I need to tell you about a conversation I had the other day. I was talking to a young woman who is very near and dear to my heart. She is in her last year of high school, and has been trying to figure out what to do for college. After months of wrestling with the subject, she finally said to me, “I think maybe I just need to take a year off after high school. I have been asking God for direction… for a university, or for a study program, or for a major, or even for just a state to move to, and I am getting nothing!”
Have you ever been at a similar crossroads? Have you ever felt, like this young woman, that you desperately needed an answer from God? How about this? Have you prayed, fasted, worshiped, praised, read copious amounts of Scripture, and otherwise participated in every spiritual discipline that you could think of… and leaned in hard, trying to listen for an answer… and you didn’t hear anything?
One more thing. How about this one? Have you ever heard from God in some moment that seemed completely random, when you were not even specifically looking for Him to speak to you? Maybe in the shower, or driving down the road? Maybe while working out, or during your lunch break?
I bet you have experienced something very much like this, in both categories. What is the difference there? Why do we sometimes not hear something from God when we are trying so hard to do so, and then hear something from Him when we are not even trying at all?
I believe the answer is found in this verse – listen to it one more time with your spirit: “At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: ‘O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike’” (Matt 11:25, NLT).
See that there? God hides things from those of us who are thinking of ourselves as wise and clever. In other words, when we think that by our own arduous spiritual efforts we can get wisdom, we can actually end up blocking the flow of His revelation. Straining to hear from Him doesn’t work. Who is it that does receive His revelation? The childlike.
Are you needing answers, wisdom, direction, clarity? God has them for you. Here, though, is His way: God speaks when we are in an attitude of simple trust, not when we are striving to figure things out. This is why we sometimes hear from Him at seemingly random moments. When you are in the shower, or exercising, or listening to music you enjoy, your inner being is at rest. That is an apt moment for Holy Spirit to drop into your spirit something that He is wanting to communicate with you. Inner restfulness is an incubator for revelation from God.
This, this my friend, is why His invitation to come and find rest for our souls is in this very same passage of the Bible. After Jesus’ prayer about the Father giving revelation to the childlike, our famous verse follows immediately: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’” (v. 28). When we are tired out and burdened with worry about the right course of action to choose, He invites us to come in close. His top priority is not to give us the answer to our question immediately. Instead, it is to give us rest for our souls. He asks us to hand that oppressive burden over to Him… to entrust to Him the terribly heavy weight of our destiny. Your future… the right decision to make… the right way to go… the right thing to do… the fear of messing it all up… what an awfully exhausting burden! It’s too much for you to carry. However, it’s the easiest thing in the world for Him to carry it. He’s the One that has infinite strength and wisdom. He’s the One who sees the end from the beginning. He’s the One that loves us more than His own life.
So He invites us to come to Him and exchange those heavy burdens for His rest. As we hand them over, one by one, He completes the transaction by imparting profound, supernatural rest to our souls. In a childlike posture of sheer trust, we snuggle in, and our Daddy God holds us close. A simple current of love begins to flow between Him and you. It is well with your soul.
It’s then, and only then, that the next part kicks in: “…Learn from me, for I am gentle…” (v. 29, ESV). It’s from that posture of restfulness and trust that the learning flows. When your heart knows that He is gentle with you, you find harbor. Safe there in His bosom, His clarity opens up to you. When you know that He loves you more than anything, then you can truly receive from Him. The answers you need begin to flow naturally and spontaneously. All of a sudden, you just know what you need to know.
You know what? How it delights our Daddy when we live this way! This is why Jesus exclaimed in verse 26, “Yes, Father, this is what you really wanted!” (NCV).
Yes, this is what He longs for. So snuggle in, dear one. You are deeply, deeply loved. You are His little one. Come and find rest for your soul. Hand over those worries to Him. They are too burdensome for you. But to Him, they are feather light. Listen to His words once again:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matt. 11:28-30, MSG).
Have you, too, found that wisdom and answers flow more freely when your heart is at rest in His love?