Last week McClure Plumbing and Heating replaced one of the air conditioner units on the roof above the commons.  And because the unit is located about seventy feet from the edge of the roof, a large crane had to be hired to make the exchange.  What really struck me as I watched the crane operator who was located right outside my office window was the fact that, once he swung the new unit past the roof line, he couldn’t see what he was doing.  How did he know where to set the unit down if he couldn’t see what he was doing?  What kept him from crushing one of the workers? There had to be some form of communication between those who were installing the air-conditioner and the crane operator.
As I thought about it, I realized this scenario is much like our journey as followers of Jesus.  As Henry Blackaby writes, if we’re going to experience God, we must be aware of where He is at work so we can join Him.  The challenge, of course, is discerning whether it’s God speaking to me or whether it’s my own thoughts.  Gideon struggled with the same issue, that’s why he put out the fleece.
So how does God speak to us?  Well, we know according to the Bible he speaks in many ways—can even be through a burning bush or a donkey.  I’ve also heard of people hearing the audible voice of God or through dreams.  I never want to limit the ways God speaks to me; however, my experience is that God most often speaks to me through the Bible, through prayer, through other Christians, and through special circumstances.
Regardless of the way God communicates with me, I have discovered that it’s really hard to hear from God when my life is full of noise and distraction.  The key then is to take time to sit quietly before the Lord in expectation that he will speak to me.  Like it says in Isaiah 50:4-5, “The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, so I know how to encourage tired people.  He wakes me up in the morning, wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.”
After the crane operator had finished setting the air conditioning unit on top of the church I asked him how he knew what to do.  He replied by telling me how he relies on the communication through two way radios with a fellow employee.  We continued our conversation about the importance of hearing clearly from his co-worker so as not to damage things or to injure other people.
The thought of communicating with God in regards to the good works that he prepares for us in advance to do is an amazing gift.  May we treasure our communion with God and for those opportunities when God invites us to work with him and may our ears be eager and attentive to his instructions.  For who knows who we might hurt if we fail to listen well.
Grace and peace, Mike

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