Mark Affleck

What Does a 2916-Year-Old Tree Know About God?

October 11, 2021
Spiritual Growth

The 2916-year-old tree towered hundreds of feet into the heavens with a circumference of an astonishing 71 feet. I stood under it mesmerized and listening to the still-air, nothingness it called home. All I could think about was how quiet the scene was right then at that moment, save the soft wind whistling through the leviathan’s sturdy frame. How peaceful it made me feel on this picture-perfect day. And how the moment moved me into the power of God’s presence.
That was yesterday just 20 minutes from my home near Yosemite National Park on America’s West Coast and it had me thinking: THAT is how I want to be listening to God EVERY DAY!
I had left behind my deadlines and commitments and frenzied schedule. I had forgotten about the pain that had seized my back the night before. I had escaped from the hurried bustle of life. And it was magnificent. With arms stretched toward the blue-coated heavens, I praised God and committed to seek this kind of PEACEFUL LISTENING every day no matter where I found myself—Giant Sequoia’s or not.
But we cannot just say “I’m going to listen for and to God every day just like when I am under the giant sequoias.” So how do we pull that off? Here are the three steps I am going to use:

ONE: Expecting an ANSWER
I want to be expectant that God WILL speak to me without any doubt and that he WILL answer my prayers.

Call to me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3

TWO How we reach STILLNESS
I want to always remember that it is in stillness, not busyness, that my ears and heart are tuned into what God says to me. That he always speaks in that “STILL, small voice” even though we are prone to live in a way that drowns it out.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
God’s voice can be blaring like a loudspeaker or a near-silent whisper. It can come in the middle of our chaos or during those blissful moments of peace. He speaks through his WORD; the HOLY SPIRIT; trusted believers close to us; and through our dreams.

“Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” John 8:47
I ask God to give me ears to hear; a heart that expects him to answer; and a mind free of distractions so I can listen for and hear his life-giving voice.
Are you ready to listen—REALLY LISTEN—for God’s still-small voice?
“If you are a born-again Christian, you have literally become one spirit with the Lord and have been given the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16

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