December 12, 2023

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23, ESV).


Yesterday morning was Saturday. I was on call for morning rounds. On my drive in, I asked the Lord to let me speak the name of Jesus to at least one person that day. After rounds, I made it to the second half of my granddaughter’s basketball game, and then a friend called. He needed help with groceries; so, I traveled back into center city to help him. He had led a profligate life and was suffering the consequences. He frequently talks about trying hard to live as a Christian, repeatedly failing as his desires take over. I remembered my morning prayer and told him he would never fully please God if it depended on his trying. He needed to surrender his life to Christ and let God take over.


God honors intentionality.


In my experience, He does so especially with our Christian witness. I am fully confident that had I not prayed for an opportunity to witness that day, God would not have provided the opportunity…or I would not have recognized the moment.


Much of my Christian walk has depended too much on my waiting for God to shake me, counting on Him to grab my head and face me toward the Christian opportunities before me.


Over the years, I have learned that the Holy Spirit does not limit His work to waking me up at the moment of opportunity, though He does that. God’s Spirit also moves in my morning devotions when I ask Him to give me “ears to hear” that day. In my experience, He honors that prayer, that intentionality, with purpose infused throughout my ordinary day. I see patients and friends in a different light. I am more attuned when God whispers for me to speak His name or to act in sacrificial kindness.


It’s like aiming my arrow that day toward His target, not mine.


Dear Father,

Open my ears in the morning and let them be open all day.


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