December 9, 2003
Encouragement for Today
Hearing the Coach's Voice
Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise. Proverbs 1:23 (NLT)
I was recently attending a soccer game of my eight year old son, Hayden. He prefers to play offense, in hopes of scoring a goal, but on this particular day, his coach had him playing defense for the majority of the game. His coach had recognized that even though Hayden was good at playing offense, he was even better defending the goal as a defensive player. The game was very close and our team was down by one. Everyone was excited and many of the parents were a little vocal to say the least. I noticed the coach shouting to Hayden, "Back up and play your position". Another adult spoke up saying, "Kick the ball and follow through". Still another voice urged, "Come on #9, chase that ball, go for the goal!" "Move up", "Go right", "You can get it"! The coach was beginning to get impatient and finally said, "Come on Hayden! Listen to me!" I noticed the look of frustration on my son's face. He looked as if he were about to cry. When the game ended, I asked Hayden what was wrong. He simply replied, "I couldn't make up my mind who to listen to! I couldn't tell which one was the coach's voice."
This situation provided me with two important lessons - one for my son and one for me. For my son, I explained that in order to discern the coach's voice, he needed to stop, be still, and look at his coach. I encouraged him to listen to that voice only and learn to recognize it so he could always hear it above the rest. And then, the most important part, to obey his coach's words. Even though all the others meant well, it was his coach that he needed to listen to and obey. Then he would be a wiser and better soccer player.
My lesson was much like my son’s but with eternal ramifications. How often am I guilty of not listening to my Coach's voice? In the book of Proverbs, God says "Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise." So often I get busy...too busy to stop and "come here and listen" to the voice of my Coach, my God, whose voice is the only one that matters. Just like Hayden, sometimes when I do not slow down, I hear many voices. Friends, family, books, television, and others mean well but can never take the place of He who is in authority of me. In Hebrews 2:1, we are told to listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. In order to listen very carefully to anyone, I must first silence everything else around me. Then and only then can I determine the one and only voice of my Coach.
This situation, an ordinary soccer game, proved to be such an important life lesson for both me and Hayden. I shared the lesson I had learned with my son. I confessed that I had been way too busy and that God was calling me to slow down so that I could hear His voice. I also told Hayden that the next step was for me to demonstrate the truth I had learned by actually obeying God. I committed to guarding my quiet time with the Lord, reading and obeying His Word, and being still enough to hear what He had to say. A story from the Old Testament came to mind and drove this truth home.
In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is recounting the Ten Commandments for all of the Israelites. He needed their attention, so he "summoned them" (NIV), he "called all of the people of Israel together" (NCV and NLT). In other words, he gathered them so he would have a captive audience - an audience that would be sure to hear him. Chapter five begins with Moses saying, "Listen carefully to all the laws and regulations that I am giving you today. Learn them and be sure to obey them!"
Listen, learn and obey. Just as Hayden's soccer coach called him to listen, learn and obey, Moses called the Israelites to do the same. And our Lord is calling us all to an obedience that always begins with hearing the Coach's voice and culminates in wisdom. "Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out my spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise."
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, help me to guard my time and focus on what You are saying to me. Slow me down when I get too busy to hear Your voice. I trust You to give me the wisdom I need in this game of life. Help me to listen, learn and obey Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Recount the order of your daily schedule. Are you taking time to hear the voice of the Almighty Coach? Evaluate how well you are listening, learning, and obeying His voice.
What life lessons from God can you teach your child (ren) today? Take the time to nurture your children by sharing daily what God is doing in your life and theirs.
Wisdom is knowledge in action. Write down one way that you can put into action something you know that God wants you to do. Then be obedient and do it!
Am I spending time with God so I can be sure it is His voice that I am hearing?
Do I seek advice from friends, family, or popular personalities before going to my Heavenly Father?
Is God calling me to action in a certain area?
Am I responding in obedience?
Are my children learning how to determine the voice of God? Am I taking the time to teach them? Am I showing them by doing this in my own life?
Proverbs 1:23- "Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise." (NLT)
Hebrews 2:1- So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. (NLT)
Deuteronomy 5:1- Moses called all the people of Israel together and said: "Listen, Israel to the commands and laws I am giving you today. Learn them and obey them carefully."(NCV)
Deuteronomy 6:4- "Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone." (NLT)
Mark 4:9- "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand." (NLT)
Luke 6:49- "But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." (NIV)
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes
Seven Life Principles for Every Woman by Sharon Jaynes and Lysa TerKeurst
Originally published Tuesday, 09 December 2003.