Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. When they
had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child, and all who
heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and
pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they
had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
— Luke 2:8-20
I love this story, and I especially love that it’s a familiar one. Reading an old story with new eyes always gives God a chance to speak a fresh word and remind us that His Word is alive and that He desires to meet us there!
When I read this, and I try to put myself in the scene, I can’t help but wonder what it was like not only to see a host of angels but to hear them! Can you imagine? I picture the shepherds bumping elbows like, “Did you hear that!? Do you hear what I hear?!”
With the theme of hearing in mind, I want to spend a few moments with you, asking ourselves a few questions.
I think it can be easy to read a Bible story like this one and think, “I love that for them. It’s magical and Christmassy, but what does this mean for me? What does it mean for my life today? What does this mean for my relationship with Jesus?”
Let’s start here:
How do I hear God’s voice?
You might be saying to yourself, Jennie, this scripture is amazing and inspiring, but I’ve never experienced anything like this. I haven’t experienced the angels telling me at work how awesome God is.
One of the best parts of this story is that the shepherds didn’t know that these angels would show up that night. It was a regular night on the job for them, and they had shown up for their shift on a seemingly insignificant night, and yet, the significant happened that very night.
How are you leaning into where God has you right now?
You may not be in the place you want to be; you may be experiencing things that you don’t want to experience – the heartache, the struggles of life. But how are you being present in your job, in your home, in your school? God can speak to you there, and He wants to speak to you right where you are.
I don’t think it’s about hearing God audibly (although He can do that!) I don’t think it’s about whether or not you see the angels in the skies. I believe it’s about hearing from God in your everyday life. It’s about reading the Bible every day and carving out time to spend with your Savior. It’s about walking in the things He’s called you to and asking Him to speak to you. It’s about being willing, and it’s about waiting on Him and letting Him lead right here and right now.
What does my life sound like?
What does my life sound like? If we genuinely tune our ears to hear from God, to hear the sound of Heaven, we will live lives that sound like Heaven. What does Heaven sound like? What does a life in tune with God’s word sound like? My husband likes to say, “worship is the sound of a healthy soul.” Are you letting God’s love and word and worship pour into you so that in return, it can come ringing out of you?
Psalms 89:15 says,
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound. They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance.
The goal of our lives isn’t to live perfectly. Sweetness, love, and kindness won’t always come naturally from our lives. We’ll have bad days and hard moments, we’ll make mistakes, but the goal is this: that we imperfectly follow Jesus, that we forgive, that we show grace, that we love, and that the overarching sound of our lives is God’s love, His grace, His kindness, and His word.
What do I hear God saying to me?
Think about this for a moment, when was the first time you heard God speak to you? And again, I’m not necessarily saying audibly, but when was the first time your ears were opened, and you first heard that God loved you, and that He created you, and that He had a plan for you? Think about that first time. If you’ve forgotten, God’s telling you right now that He loves you.
Sometimes we can let the things we’re struggling with, the life that we’re barely making it through, the madness or the pain of the holiday season keep us from hearing the fact that God loves us so much. And if you’ve never heard, hear now what I’ve heard, that your Father in Heaven loves you.
He created you. He created you with a purpose in mind. And He loved you so much that He sent His son Jesus, our Savior, into this world as a baby. So that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
When we hear God’s voice, it changes our life, and my prayer is that you wouldn’t ignore Him speaking to you but that you would hear Him. And that your everyday life would be filled with purpose and joy and power as you surrender to Him and His voice in every little moment.
Written for Devotionals Daily by Jennie Lusko, author of The Fight to Flourish.
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Are you listening to God? Do you hear His voice? He created you for relationship so that you might know Him, and love Him, and hear Him, and be known, loved, and heard by Him! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you. ~ Devotionals Daily