“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
–1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)

It’s been said there are three L’s when it comes to real estate: location, location, location. God has his own three L’s:
listen, listen, listen. You may be saying, “Listen to God, Tim? You’ve got to be kidding! Pray tell, what kind of voice does He have?” I believe God’s voice is like no other, for His name is above all names. Jesus told us in John chapter 10 that His sheep know His voice, so if you will bear with me, I would like to explain what this means by using the letters RSVP.

I have met many people who have had all kinds of weird experiences and claimed that God spoke to them. Let me hasten to say that I am not talking about anything like that. It is my firm conviction that the primary way God speaks to us today is through His word, the Bible.

That brings us to the letter R. We must familiarize ourselves with the Bible, READING it thoroughly. We must then wait upon the Holy Spirit to speak to us in His own manner and time. God tells us that we must search the pages of His word for answers as we travel through this ever-twisting maze called life.
Unlike sensational experience, the Bible has been proven over and over again, and the truths that it contains have withstood the test of time. However, some people’s idea of searching the scriptures goes something like this: They pick up the Bible and flip randomly through its pages, almost like they’re playing a game of chance, and this is dangerous.

I once heard about a man who wanted to know what God’s will was for his life, so he said, “I’ll ask God what he wants me to do, and then I’ll shut my eyes and pick a Bible verse. I will do whatever that verse says.” So he opened his Bible and bowed his head. After praying for a while, he flipped to a certain page and put down his finger. When he opened his eyes, the text under his finger read, “And Judas went out and hanged himself.” “Huh? That can’t be right!” he cried.

“I’ll just pick out another passage.” Moments later he opened his eyes again and saw a new verse: “Go thou and do likewise.” Though this is a funny story, it contains heartbreaking truth. Always remember that scriptures taken out of context only lead to confusion. It’s not enough to gain a foundational knowledge of God’s word by reading alone. As important as reading the Bible is, we must build upon what we’ve read.

So we come to the letter S. Study God’s word prayerfully and carefully. Take time and let God speak to you by comparing scriptures. If it helps, write down what you feel God is saying to you. Then continue in a state of prayer and praise, awaiting further direction.

Knowing something and doing it are two different things. You can know something, but unless that knowledge is acted upon it will stagnate, like a pool of standing water. That brings us to the letter V. Verify what you’ve learned with another brother or sister in faith, and pray about what you feel God is telling you to do. Too many people think they can just go it alone, instead of drawing upon the strength and support that God alone provides. Fellowship with others is like a life draft that not only keeps us from sinking, but also keeps us on course in difficult times.

The final letter, P, stands for Proceed. Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel, so when you know what he wants you to do, you need to act on that knowledge and move out. You may not want to leave your comfort zone, but the Bible tells us to be doers of the Word, instead of just reading it. You may feel you don’t have much to give, but put yourself in the hands of our great God. What he does will amaze you.

God has sent out an invitation of blessing to you in His word, so RSVP today!

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext.874157.