Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

What Are You Listening To?

by Richard Griffiths

Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.
Psalm 119:23, NIV

It’s horrible, isn’t it? when someone (especially someone in authority – a ‘ruler’) says things about you that you know are both unkind and untrue. Words have an incredible capacity to hurt. And it’s even worse when they are spoken behind your back (gossiping – ‘sitting together and slandering’ you). The trouble is that what people are saying so often seems to have more impact on us than what God is saying.

David gives us three practical keys to ensure that God’s words to us are much louder than the gossip.

First, he reminds himself that it is God, and not the gossiping ‘rulers’, who is in charge of his life. He is God’s servant. So, what God says is far more important than what these ‘rulers’ are saying. It is as we acknowledge the Lordship of God over every part of our life that we come under His protection.

Then he will focus his mind is on God’s decrees. The Hebrew word means what God prescribes – the boundaries that He sets for right living. If he has, in his thought life as much as in what he does, moved outside these God-given boundaries, he’s become vulnerable. Perhaps he will have some things to confess, repent of, and change.

And, thirdly, he will meditate on what God says.

As we do one of the country walks that we love, Sue will sometimes say, “Can you hear that buzzard?” I hadn’t heard it. I was listening to the ducks quacking away in the river. But now I could, because I was listening out for that ‘peee-uu’ that is so unmistakable.

Meditating on God’s word means focussing our spiritual ears on to His unmistakeable voice, as He speaks through the written word. It means spending a little time to change the focus of our listening. And it means staying focussed – focussed on God and what He might be saying, not on the gossip. The thing about buzzards is that they make their sound a bit intermittently. If my ears went back to the ducks, I would miss the next buzzard call. But, as long as I kept listening for the buzzard, my ears became pretty well deaf to the ducks.

If we ‘meditate’ in this way, it will allow God to speak directly into our problem. And when God speaks, He brings peace. He calms our agitation and anxiety. The gossip may still be there, but it has been drowned out by what God is saying.

Prayer: Father, thank You that when You speak into my life, You bring healing and peace. I bring to You the unkind words that others have spoken against me. Would You please take away their power to hurt me, and give me Your peace. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of peace. Amen.

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.


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