Do We Listen To God?
You are welcome today to listen in as I talk to myself!
Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with one or more people listening to you, and someone else walks in the room and says something, and you are left talking to yourself. Happened to me this week. I'm convinced I didn't have their attention in the first place, not one person of the three looked at me to suggest they were listening or wanted to hear the end of my story, in fact two of them walked out of the room with me trying to finish the last few words of my story. At one point I actually said out-loud, "well I guess nobody is listening to me anyway", and I was right, they weren't, not even a little bit. That hurts a bit doesn't it? But I'm sure I've done that to others as well.
How often are we that way with God though? How often are we in a situation, and God is talking, but we really aren't listening? Do we find ourselves in the middle of a sermon, and our minds are taking care of something else. For me I can say too often. I tell myself I'm listening, and want God to speak, but sometimes I catch myself just not paying attention. Other times, the decisions I make or the words that come out of my mouth as I interrupt someone, indicate I wasn't listening very well to them either. I'm sure God gets interrupted by things in my life too. More often than I realize probably, I may leave Him saying, "well, he wasn't listening to me anyway".
Like every other shortcoming we have in life, we need to identify things like this and work on them. God doesn't demand perfection from us, because we can't give it, but He doesn't want us content with our failings either. We need to be always looking at ways to be better, to improve upon our failures, and grow closer to Him. For certain, when He speaks, we need to be listening, and listening attentively.
Listening to God speak requires us to be in the right mode, ready to listen. If our minds are miles away on other things, we can't hear what He is saying. We must clear distractions, focus on him, be quiet while He speaks, and let His words sink in until we understand Him. Maybe things like no TV or no radio before our worship to Him Sunday. No, there's no book, chapter and verse for that, but if we can do anything to be better prepared to listen to Him, we should do it. Aside from sermons, God speaks often in other situations, sometimes as that little voice in our heads. Again, we need to shut down the distractions, and give Him our full attention.
We know God loves us and wants to be involved in our lives continuously, so hearing from Him isn't something complex. He most often speaks to us through that still voice in our brains. He speaks to us as we read His Holy Word, and He speaks to us as we listen to His teachings. There are also only ways God communicates to us when we are paying attention. But regardless of all the ways He does, our job is be listening.
Today, don't leave God standing and talking to Himself! Give Him your full attention. Listen attentively, eager to hear what He's saying. In that, we will find peace in knowing Him better, and knowing when He's talking and we can become better listeners. He tells us repeatedly how much He loves us, and that's something we all need to hear every day. Are we listening to all the ways that He says that?