The beginning words of the most revered passage of the Jewish scriptures, the Shema, are words of instruction to the Jewish people. “Hear, O Israel….” God asks His children to hear Him speak.
One of the greatest things I learned while serving in Youth With A Mission full-time was to listen to God’s voice. Loren Cunningham, YWAM’s Founder, consistently teaches followers of Jesus around the world to listen for God’s voice. His first book, “Is That Really You, God?” captures this key YWAM value by telling many of the stories of YWAM’s beginnings as God directed Loren and his wife, Darlene, through establishing their amazing ministry. They first sought God’s direction before they took any steps in ministry or went to any other country to serve.
It is no accident that YWAM has had amazing success given its value to hear first from the Lord and then to do whatever He says. Similarly, it is no accident that God first asks His people to hear from Him. It is in that place of hearing that we can then do the next thing He asks of us.
What comes next in the Shema? What does God require of us?
Here is what the Lord says:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Oh the beauty of these words! The devoted Jewish follower of Yahweh would recite this throughout each day, time and time again. And oh how beautiful it is to know that what God wants us to hear, and what God cries out to us is a call to love Him. That’s it!
God doesn’t desire anything less than our love, our devotion, our hearts, our souls, our minds, our strength. God sees us as worthy to love Him and He craves it from us.
So, hear Him cry out to you a cry of love. And listen to Him. Bathe yourself in that cry and walk forward full of love, equipped to do whatever He asks of you.