Listening to God in the Little Things


 “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back” (Isaiah 50:4-5 NIV).

One of my favorite devotion books My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  On October tenth, he wrote, “All God’s revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open them through philosophy or thinking.  But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. …Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up…God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you already know.”

We must never fall into the trap of thinking that God will always give us “big” things to do.  Jesus…took a towel and …began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5). Through his act of servant leadership, he demonstrated the obedience we should have on a daily basis in the mundane activities of everyday life. Yes, he raised the dead, but he also washed the feet.

One evening Steve and I were on our way to dinner. Just before we arrived, I saw three teenage girls walking into another restaurant in the same area where we were going to eat.  One of the girls had been in a small group I had led for two years. I felt God nudging me to go into the restaurant and pay for their dinners.

“Steve, there’s Christine,” I said. “I believe God wants me to pay for those girls’ dinners.”

Steve, being a man who listens to God, whipped the car around and headed toward the door.

“Hi girls,” I said as I walked up to them in line.

“Hi  Mrs. Jaynes. What are you doing here?”

“May I take your order?” the cashier interrupted.

“Go ahead girls,” I urged. “You go first.”

Each girl ordered and then the cashier turned to me.  “And you ma’am.

“Oh, I’m not having anything. I just came in to pay for these girls’ dinners.”

The threesome were very surprised and very appreciative. I ran back out to our car, feeling a warm sense of listening and obeying.

The next day, Christine called. “Mrs. Jaynes,” she said “thank you so much for paying for our dinners last night. My friends were so touched. No one has ever done anything like that for any of us before. See, last night, they wanted to go out to dinner, but I told them I couldn’t afford it.  So they were going to pay for mine. Then you came in and well…thanks.

Obeying God only cost me $19.95, but the lesson to Christine, and her two friends was invaluable. Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

Obeying God begins with heeding the simply nudges. Don’t be afraid! Many people are afraid to obey those nudges because they aren’t absolutely sure it is God’s voice. I’ve decided that if the inner prompting lines up with Scripture and is consistent with God’s character and ways, then I’d rather err on the side of obedience that the side of caution.

“We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks….Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God….I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it” (O. Chambers June 15). “If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God” (O. Chambers November 2).

My prayer is that I will be able to say like the prophet Isaiah, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back” (Isaiah 50:4-5).

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I’m listening. Speak to me. Nudge me. I will not be rebellious. I will not draw back. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do Your Think?

Today, I encourage you to pay attention to any way that God might be nudging you to be His hands and feet. Then tell me what happened. I can hardly wait. Don’t feel uncomfortable telling me. Don’t feel like you’re tooting your own horn. I just want to toot my party horn in celebration of your obedience!

 Want More? 

One of my greatest passions is to become a woman who listens to God. If you would like to sharpen your God-listening skills, check out my book, Becoming a Woman who Listens to God. It is not a matter of whether or not God speaks. It is a matter of whether or not we will listen

28 Responses to Listening to God in the Little Things

  1. Kimberly July 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    God recently asked me to sow the last of my personal savings into a ministry of a close family member. I wish I could say it was an easy decision to make but it wasn’t. What I can say is that when I obeyed His voice, any apprehension I previously felt was replaced with a sense of peace that is truly priceless. I am happy to be a woman who listened to God!!!

  2. Janet July 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I have been unemployed and am currenty seeking employment. I have searched and searched and applied for numberouse jobs, but not interview. I became very down and depressed.
    One morning while out walking I started praying God please help me find the job you would want me to have, as I have tried everything and have reachedd bottom. When I finished praying I felt this hand on my shoulder saying (“Stop worrying” everything is going to be OK).
    When I returned from walk 30 minutes l ater my phone rang and some called me for an interwive. The following day I received another call for an interview.
    I know it had to be God in control.
    I am currently awaiting a phone call that I have been hired. I feel like both jobs God had me in mind for and now I am waiting to see where he leads me.

  3. Maria Giron July 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    To God Be the Glory!! I thank God for His divine connections to your website It has truly brought conformation to what God has been speaking to me through my pastor and His own voice which I sometime question, “Is that really you God”. I ask Him what He would have me to do but I still get to a place where I question Him speaking to me. When I do obey his voice it brings so much joy knowing that I have obeyed and blessed others by His word. I pray that my faith increase more and more and I hearken to the voice of the Lord in my everyday life. Thank you for your devotion and I look forward to more. And I am also blessed by the devotional My Utmost For His Highest, it is truly a blessing. It’s so awesome how his word confirms in our daily lives. He is an awesome God!!!

  4. Toni Wortherly July 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I have learned that God wants to be a part of EVERYTHING in our lives. When we listen to Him and trust Him with the small parts of our lives, He will continue to reveal Himself to us. This is a story of listenting and trusting God about baking tools. He will really lead us in ALL things. http://elevatedvalues.weebly.com/2/post/2012/07/in-all-things.html

    Toni

  5. Jessica July 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I’m a mommy of an almost 3yo and a 15 mo. I’m also a writer, and I cherish those down times between cooking, cleaning, averting disaster, and playing when I can sit down with my laptop and create.

    Today, the sun is shining and my little girl was asking to go outside and play in the yard. I can’t work on my laptop in the yard…it’s too bright, and the kids need my supervision out there. Even though I have the end of my book in sight and really, REALLY want to be writing, I took two hours to take the kids outside to play.

    They had a super fun time getting dirty in their sand box and picking the few ripe blackberries off the vine and popping them in their little motuhs. Not only that, but I got a chance to chat across the fence for a good 20 minutes with a neighbor who is unsaved and her two little girls.

    By getting me out of my house, the Holy Spirit gave me an opportunity to smile with and grow the friendship between me and my neighbor. Yay for the little things!

  6. Jessica July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I was asking God to give me a lesson for my youth bible study this week. The whole day at work I’d been busy thinking about tomorrow and I had been missing what God was whispering. I read your devotion and I began to tear up. Full of emotion, I realized how oblivious and selfish I was being by thinking of tomorrow and not today..to the words and nudges God was giving me. I immediately asked for forgiveness and prayed for direction for what He wants me to do today. And perhaps He has already answered my prayer about what to teach for bible study. I just needed to listen.

  7. Ammi July 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Today, a neighbor drove by in their car when I was walking the dog checking the mail. I am always in a hurry, and never stop to talk. Today, I stopped and talked. After working an outside job all my life, I have been off for a year and I am learning how to be a “person”, instead of the “manager”, the “bookkeeper”, etc. This may sound trivial to some, but it is a step for me. “Slow down and smell the roses’ instead of running by.

  8. maseray July 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I visited a church in germany and God told me to give the church the last 50euros i had for transportation to come back home and i refused. I came back so depressed becouse i did not obey God. He gave me another opportunity to visit the same church and as soon as i stepped at the door of the church, He said to me u are owing this church.I quickly obeyed by dropping a some of 100euros and coming home i recieved a letter from sombody that has been refusing to pay me some huge amount of money.It says i agree to pay u back this sum of money.its your money.I give God all the glory for He alone is worthy to be praised.

  9. Ashley Jackson July 27, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    I am feeling what God is nudging me to do is to turn to people who are struggling with ED’s and self injury and not feeling important. I am feeling Him tell me that the price was already paid for our sins and we should accept that. I know it took me a long time to finally accept it, but I’ve been doing a lot better with everything when I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I am feeling Him tell me to tell others that there is hope, there is love, and that they are not alone. This is just some of my story, but its the basic background. <3

  10. Laurie July 27, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    Have a friend I’ve felt led to get close to, as our sisters both died within a year of
    each other. She is a believer, but she hasn’t really let her belief affect her life yet. I was a little upset w/her for something trivial, and not inclined to call her any more because she, while being a great mom and grandma, is still selfish and unwilling to follow the Lord’s leading. So when she called me yesterday, I didn’t take her call. While debating whether or not to call her today, a “little voice” whispered something like “Think about where she was when you met her, and where she is now”. So, with that nudging, I did call her, we had a very long and pleasant talk, and she had something special she wanted to run by me that she had not discussed w/anyone else cuz she pretty much trusts only me to tell it like it is, or SHOULD be! Came to find out that God was convicting her to get out of her comfort zone and be involved in His work with a group of hurting kids, but she didn’t know if this was true or not. I encouraged her to think and pray about it; I perceived God was offering her an opportunity that was right up her alley, all she had to say was yes! When God brings you to a task, He also gives you the proper tools to accomplish it! So, she is starting to understand what it means to be a Christian, and I am realizing that maybe I am right where The Lord wants me for now! All b/c of a nudge! You rock, Lord!

  11. Shanay July 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Girlfriend,

    For I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken nor their seeds begging for bread.
    Girlfriend I am NOW more confident than ever that I heard God ask ME (a wife, mother of three, jail officer, student and writer) to volunteer to aide neglected and abused children. I asked HOW? WHEN? And WHY ME? Ignoring his prompting for months, I tossed and turned in disobedience but then a TUG from the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that he would make the crooked ways straight for me. Now I can say I submitted my application, fingerprints and met with the recruiter. I will start the job after I complete my state certified training next month. I am SCARED but I know he will guide me in all things. Only what you do for Christ will last. I heard God. I heard God and I obeyed. Thanks for your devotional. It was my 3rd confirmation that God was definitely asking me to do this. Thank you. God bless.

  12. Linda July 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    We have a very unhappy and cranky neighbor next to our little church. She tells us we can’t park on the street in front of her home, and we respect her wishes. Sometimes she has been pretty ugly with us. Last Sunday I stepped out of church for a moment after service, and noticed that half a car’s length was in front of her house. It made me think of her and I felt an inner prompting. I wasn’t sure it was the Lord, but decided I wanted to obey in case. I walked over to her door, knocked, and told her we had just finished service and were going to celebrate some birthdays with cake and asked if she would like to join us. She gave me a resounding “no”. So I said good-bye and off I went. I have no idea if my friendly offer will ever play even the slightest part in her coming to the Lord. I believe the results are not up to me. That part belongs to the Lord. But thank you Sharon for the encouragement. What a wonderful blessing it is to feel that nudge and obey.

  13. Julie July 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    thank you Sharon for your words today. I have been hemmed in for months with the drugery of the house- the laundry is piled up waiting to be done. The floors I can’t see because there is so much piled on them. There are mice in my house and everywhere I turn there is hours and hours of work to be done. I can’t find any peace at all. Then came your words today. I cried and cried when I read them and I am going to try and improve right today!!! I am beleiver but I thought God doesn’t really have the time or inclinattion to help me with mundane stuff and there is so much of it pulling me down I am retired and I feelso useless. I used to be a nurse and now I feel like no body really needs me.. Yes, I am clinically depressed and am on medication for it. My husband’s advice is to “just suck it up and do some stuff!” Well that doesn’t work for me. But after your words today I am really going to pray to God and watch and wait to see what His plans are for me.

  14. Chanel July 28, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    I’m the type of person who never really thinks much of the things that I do. No matter how happy people are I never really think what I’ve done is a big deal. A little over a year ago I rededicated my life to Christ and found a church home. I live in a very impoverished city. On a weekly basis I encounter homeless/and or hungry people asking for money. Due to the high drug addiction rate I’ve always said to myself, if they only asked me for food, I’d give it to them. When I had food I’d offer that instead of money. I definitely don’t want to support the drug habits of those seeking money. Just a couple of days ago, my obedience was tested. I was at a gas station getting gas and a man asked me if I could get them some food. It turns out that he was with an older woman and another lady in her late 20’s/ early 30’s. For the first time someone asked for food. I was in a rush, I didn’t want to stop and I didn’t have much money to do it. I am going through a tough time in my life. I was short on cash, losing my house and moving in with a friend. Yet similarly to you I felt that “nudge” to do it with the realization that I always said if anyone asked me for food I would get them some. So we went into the gas station store and the three of them picked up a few items. Eggs, Bread, some canned meat, drinks were some of the items they got. That’s when I really started to feel like they weren’t scamming me. They were truly hungry. After I purchased their food the older lady hugged me and when both went our seperate ways. By the time I had gotten to my destination I had almost completely forgotten what had just happened. It was no big deal. Yet from your reading I realize that what might not mean that much to me, might have meant a lot to the people that I helped and even to God

  15. Brenda July 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I got into a deep discussion with my cousin about the comments made by Dan Cathy, the President of Chik-Fil-A. She is a Christian, believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, and believes in free speech. So I was taken aback by her vitriol toward this man, stated so publicly on Facebook, against him and his “anti-gay” sentiments, when that is not what he was doing. He is not necessarily “anti gay” but he is “pro-Christian.” She was attacking him for his statements by making statements. All of us are given the right to free speech with the 1st Amendment. I tried to stay logical and just state facts, but she got so emotional. In this case, I felt that the Lord was asking me to back off and not continue the conversation. However, I don’t know if that was the “right” thing to do-what God wanted me to do. I should be promoting the belief in Christianity, yet I did back off and end the discussion. How do you REALLY know what God is telling you to do, or you are only doing what YOU think you should do? Is it the feeling of “guilty conscience” if you don’t act when you think the Lord wanted you to act? Sometimes I am so confused by what I think God is telling me to do.

  16. Cheryl July 30, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Just yesterday I was visiting with some residents in a transitional housing ministry for recently released prisoners. As I left, I had a nudge to stop at the neighboring house to say hello to another resident. I really didn’t have to stop there, but as I knocked, the door was opened by a brand new girl who had been released just the afternoon before. She did not know what to do with herself and had just prayed for God to help her when she heard my knock. I just love the way the Lord directs our path and intersects it with those He would have encourage with a glimpse of His Love just in time of need! She needed a hug and a curling iron…I had a hug and found the other:)

  17. Shubha Sanjeevini July 30, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Thanks Sharon, for the messages. It really touched me and i did obey God this time. I had prayed to God years back that i would do some donation for one of the ministry. but all these years i was holding it back or forgetting, from yday i heard messages only to Give and to give to God Types, Last night i was reminded of my previous promise to God, today i thought i will donate, i just thought i should go through your message today, as soon as i read, i was really touched and reconfirmed that its God who is telling me to obey in this area, coz because of my disobedience my prayer is unanswered. now that i have obeyed, i expect God to Fulfill the desire of my Heart and heal my brother.

    Praise the Lord.
    Thanks a lot to you
    Love
    Shubha Sanjeevini

  18. Sandra July 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I left the house telling my husband I was going shopping, but God nudged me in the opposite direction. All I could do was smile as I found myself pulling up to a retirement home where an elderly church member lives who has no family in town. Mary is almost blind, but she never wants you to identify yourself. She knows us by our voices, and she always gets it right. I had not seen her since she had to leave her house because of her failing sight. She took such joy in showing me every detail of her new home. We talked. We laughed. We prayed. Thank you, Lord, for taking me to Mary.

  19. Colleen July 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    So here’s my little story. There’s this person who always seems to ‘rub me the wrong way’…a Sandpaper person, as you would call her. She is in my life daily, so I cannot get away from her. I had been praying that God would show me a new light in her. Then I was nudged to do something for her. She and another neighbor were having a rummage sale. Her husband had a medical crises lately, and they were short of money. So I decided that rather than giving my things to a favorite charity, I’d donate them to the rummage sale and whatever money they brought in, this Sandpaper person could keep. I told her I didn’t want a dime from any of it! She couldn’t understand that, but thanked me anyway. I found out later that she used the money to spend at a casino get-away for her and her husband. Normally that would have made me upset, but guess what??? It didn’t. I felt that it was a nice get-away for them from all their troubles instead. God is so good when we listen and obey! 🙂

  20. Colleen July 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    P.S. The ‘rest of my story” is that God showed me a few years ago, that He did not want me at any casinos. He showed me that I was living in sin every time I stepped foot inside one of them. I used to go with her to casinos, but not anymore. What a great twist!

  21. Yma August 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I’m grabbing hold 🙂

  22. Jane August 2, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Last week at the Christian camp I work at we had a worship fire, like we do every Thursday night. I decided to attend thisweek even thoughI wasn’t working. We ended up not having it outside due to terrible storms but had it in the one building with a nice living area and a fireplace. In this room there were around 50 campers and 20 staff. During the worship I felt like God had been asking me to get on my knees(He actually has been asking for weeks) but last week I followed through and worshipped on my knees. And an AWESOME thing happenned. With my eyes closed, I felt the presence of Jesus crouching in front of me. He just smiled as I sang his praises. It was amazing! Then, after the fire was over many of the counselors and all of the campers went back to their cabins, and I was talking to a few of the support staff and day-camp counselors and we found that we all felt that presence. We all knew that the presence of the One True God was there. It was one of the highlights of my life, hands down! 🙂

  23. Linda Manley August 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I am grabbing hold

  24. Shar August 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I used to heap praises on the ‘goodness’ of friends and was constantly in a state of nervous condition, should this change. When it did, I got on my knees and re-directed the praise and the worship to Him who will never leave me nor forsake me. That was the best decision I have made in the last 3 years. Without His grace I would not have made it thus far.

  25. Melissa August 3, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    My favorite time to talk with the Lord is on a walk early in the morning. I love to admire all His wonderful creation. I love to see what beautiful sky scape He will paint each morning. I find at least one rose or flower to stop and smell. The variety of scents and the beauty before my eyes and the fresh cool air on my face fills me with joy and praise for our creator. Praise God!!!!!

  26. Barbara August 5, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Sharon, I did not even want to apply for a receptionist job, but I had been looking for work and was told to “think out side the box”. Also, this ad said “entry level” and I precluded that it would mean “low pay”, but I applied. I got an interview and went for it. A few weeks later, I got another call for a second interview. I prayed as I always did for the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide me, and a few days later got a call. I was disappointed when I went home from the second interview because I liked the place and the people and believed I could work there, but the pay was too low. All I could say was “Thank you God” when the atty called to offer me the job of legal assistant! God had a plan for me indeed as I knew HE did.

  27. Barbara August 5, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Sharon, an addendum to my previous post – the legal assistant position is obviously at a higher salary and was more in line with what I needed. (I am still working there -Praise God!)

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