The Battle for “Shema”
“Our greatest desire is for you to hear the voice of your Father!” We make this statement to every group that comes to Oceans Retreat Center, as one just arrived from the US, fresh off a long exhausting flight. We gather into the family room, challenge them to disconnect from their phones and all other distractions so that they are able to hear what the Spirit has to say.
This is a battle for both the youth and adults as an avalanche of data covers our minds with a suffocating force keeping us from encountering the breath of true life. You can challenge me on this-but I believe we are living in the noisiest time in human history. We literally are connected to thousands of voices a day from all over the world demanding our attention, and most of those voices seek to suck the life out of us.
When God redeemed the people of Israel out bondage in Egypt one of the first things He taught them was the “Shema.” This Hebrew word means hearing, to bring victory. Even to this day devoted Jews will say the “Shema” first thing in the morning and last thing at night:
“Hear O Israel: the LORD our God is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Dt. 6:4-5
The LORD was bringing His children into the Promised Land, however this land was filled with anti-God voices. Each person would battle against the culture and all it’s seductive lies-it was essential to hear the truth and live it..
His voice is the “One and only” which brings victorious freedom. His voice of love is made flesh in Jesus. In Jesus we have the Father shouting to us His forgiveness, grace, love, and the path for His children to live in victory. When we encounter His voice we become passionate lovers bringing His love and light to a dark world (see John 1:1-14).
How do we battle for Shema in this historic season of demonic noise attacks? Let me tell you what we are starting with our current team from the US. A friend of Oceans, Henry Miersma, has just put together a powerful tool titled Psalms Journal, and we are using advance copies. This book is a 21-day challenge to daily read and listen to the Father’s voice in a Psalm. As you mediate and listen you write down prompting from the Spirit in the journal. The final step is to pray those truths back to the Father asking for His Spirit to help you live into it.
Over the years, I have found that daily listening to His voice in the Word, writing truths down, and then praying them become a spiritual trifecta that battles the noise and helps me live the “Shema.” I believe with all my heart as the Father’s children practice these 3 disciplines a victorious hearing will take place that overcomes the world.
For next week’s blog I asked Henry to share how this Psalms Journal came about. You will be blessed by how the Father spoke to him and His step of faith to obey what he heard.
Praying you will hear your Father’s transforming voice today as you listen, write it down, and pray it back to Him!
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