In Psalm 85, the Psalmist asks God for restoration and revival and for a fresh outpouring of God’s love. The Psalmist says, “Now I’ll listen carefully to Your voice and wait to hear whatever You say.” As I consider this verse, I cannot help but be struck by two things. The “now” and the “listen” and “wait.”
Now. We say that again and again. We all fall short, and when we do fall short, we seek forgiveness from God. And yes, we receive the forgiveness we seek because of Jesus. From there, we say, “Now.” Now I will begin again. Now things will be different. Now I will not do this thing that needed forgiveness. Yet, we know, just as the Apostle Paul, that we so often do what we do not want to do, and we do not do what we desire most (see Romans 7:15).
The Psalmist declares that he will “listen carefully” and “wait,” understanding that the only thing that will keep him from sin, which is going against God, is to listen to God, to listen carefully to God. The question we must ask daily is are we listening carefully for God’s voice? Can you even recognize His voice? From there, do you wait for Him to speak? Do you wait to hear Him?
We are all going to have more “now” moments. We all fall short. It’s going to happen. But to keep it from happening a lot, we are to listen and wait. Recognizing God’s voice requires a commitment to being in God’s Word daily. From reading His Word, we begin to recognize His Word and we begin to see a glimpse of the heart of God. This is so important. This is what separates you from knowing some Bible verses to understanding the desires of God, and when you have the Word of God written on your heart (which requires daily reading of His Word), the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, can bring to recollection what God has said. Then, you are able to recognize if what you are hearing is from God or not of God.
A lot of this requires waiting though. As the verse from today mentions, the Psalmist promises to wait to hear whatever God says. Not only is the Psalmist waiting, which means the Psalmist isn’t simply saying speak to me God, and then if not getting an immediate answer, wandering off to consider what he thinks God says— but actually, the Psalmist waits. Not only does he wait, he waits to hear “whatever” God has to say. See, sometimes the truth we are dished out might be hard to swallow. The Psalmist says he wants to hear whatever God has to say. Do you wait for the whatever? Or are you only waiting for the answer you desire? I pray that you now listen carefully and wait to hear whatever God has to say to you today.
“Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice and wait to hear whatever you say. Let me hear your promise of peace— the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear. Don’t let us in our ignorance turn back from following you.” – Psalm 85:8 [TPT]