Joey & Carla Link
September 23, 2020
Christians will often say they can’t hear God speaking to them. Does God still speak to us? All you have to do is open up the Bible and read what God wants to say to you. He’s speaking all right, but are we listening? I (Joey) was struck by one line in Psalm 95 – the Psalm of worship:Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for He is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.Today, if you hear his voice…” After great words of worship and adoration unto God. David says “IF you hear His voice…” It is one thing to worship God in song, but it is quite another to listen to what He says to us in His Word. “If” you hear His voice,” so we can hear the sound of His voice, but whether we listen to what He is telling us or not is our choice. How can you help your kids hear what God is saying to them? Let me ask you a question, do your kids listen to what you say to them? If not, why not? In the first 5 years of your child’s life, it is the job of the parents to teach their kids how to obey them. We believe God put parents in the life of every human being to teach them what authority looks like. Kids who do not obey their parents do not respect them and kids who do not respect their parents will not listen to them. So, if your kids aren’t listening to you, back up and work on obedience training.If your kids are characterized by listening to you, here are some things you can do to help them understand what God says they should do.
- Have your kids take notes in church. Over lunch, everyone in the family gets to share what they took notes on. When our children were young, I (Carla) would call the church office every week and find out what the sermon topic was. Then she would find or make up color sheets for the girls that had pictures of something the sermon was going to be about on them. I asked our pastor for a word he would frequently use in his sermon and had the kids make a tally mark for every time they heard that word. I did too. Whoever came the closest to the amount of marks I got and could tell why pastor had used that word so often got an ice cream treat on me.
- Encourage and hold your kids accountable for having devotions/Quiet Times. You can find devotion books for children of every age (parentingmadepractical.com). If they don’t read yet, Mom or Dad can take a few minutes in the morning and read their devotion to them. Before our kids could write, we would have them draw a picture in their notebook about what they had learned in their QT that morning. Our kids kept their all their notebooks for years.
When they were old enough to write in their notebooks they wrote:
- The answers to the questions in their devotion book
- Their prayer requests and when the requests were answered, they went back to that page and wrote the answer down by the request and the date it was answered. This taught them to see God’s answer to their prayers.
- One thing they could do from what they had learned in their devotions each day.
On Saturday evenings, they shared with us what they had been learning in their QT’s that week. This was how we kept them accountable to do them.
- When you are in the car and listening to Christian songs on the radio, ask them what they think a certain song, word or phrase is saying to them/us about obeying God’s voice.
- When they demonstrate a character trait on their own initiative, praise them for it and then ask them how they knew being kind (for example) was the right thing to do.
- If they tell you it is because you told them it was the right thing to do, ask them how you knew it was.
- Show them how to find verses that talk about this particular character trait. They need to know it is God telling them it is the right thing to do and it pleases Him when they do.
One of the reasons we don’t hear God’s voice is because we are too busy to have time to listen, think and meditate on what God is saying to us and we become like the next verse in Psalm 95. “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.” (Ps. 95:8) We can sing and praise God on the outside, but are we listening to Him as He works on our hearts on the inside? Encourage your kids to talk about what they are learning in different spiritual settings and have them share with you what God is saying to them and ask them how they are going to put it into practice.