Electronic media connections are wonderful in that we can easily and quickly get updates and information all the time. We can shoot out quick texts to encourage, inform, vent, whine or even blast someone. It is quite easy and sometimes too easy.
What is and always has been hard is the skill of listening. In the New International Version of the Bible, the word listen is used 412 times. In some cases, it is God asking us to listen, in other cases, God is asking others to listen to Him. Sometimes it refers to when they did not or would not listen.
Notably, listening was and is important. I don’t know about you, but I am much better at giving my opinion, sharing information or just speaking in general, than I am at listening... really listening, to what others are saying.
That begs the question... How intentional and wholehearted are we when it comes to listening to God? This is where I need to pause and put on the brakes.
Everyday I fill my mind with information from my phone, the TV, internet, and other sources. How often do I stop and read His word, and fill my heart and thoughts with God and His ways?
In John 1-:27 it reads, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” How can I follow God if I am not really, listening to Him? I can become so unfamiliar with His voice that I cannot distinguish it from the other voices that I have invited into my mind and heart. After a while, it all becomes an endless stream of noise, with little or no real impact on my heart.
In Psalm 86:11 it says- Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness, give me and undivided heart, that I may fear your Name.
An undivided heart is one that listens and responds to God’s love, direction, and correction in our lives. It begins with being passive, but that is only a starting place.
So stop and listen, listen well, listen long, and wait for God to teach you. Then, after you have listened well to God, comes the active part: respond at His leading, teaching, correction and direction.
Many of us stand in need of a reminder to pause, turn off all the other noises and read God’s word. Let His word soak into your mind and saturate your heart without interruption. Our true contentment and peace of mind can only be found in Him. We spend a lot of time, energy and money looking elsewhere.
There are tons of great tips on how to be a better listener just google it. It can be helpful. But better yet, is to stop, read God’s word, seek Him out in prayer, and listen for Him to speak to you. Listen, my friend, really listen. What is He saying to you? Do you recognize His voice? Are you responding to His teachings? Can you hear Him? ……..Listen
And for your listening pleasure: Take a little time and hang out in scripture and listen to what they are saying…
Genesis 15:6, Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, Ruth 1: 16, I Kings 3:9, II Chronicles 7:14, Psalms 1: 103, Psalms 8: 3-5, Psalms 27:14, Psalms 37:4, Psalms 119:11, Psalms 105, Psalms 137: 1, Proverbs 3: 5-6, Proverbs 29:11, Isaiah 6:8, Isaiah 40:30, Isaiah 43: 1-3, Isaiah 43: 10-11, Isaiah 55:6, Hosea 6: 6, Joel 1:3, Nahum 1:7, Habakkuk 2: 20, Matthew 6:33-34, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 11: 28-30, Matthew 28: 19 - 20, Mark 12: 30,31, Luke 19:10, John 3:16, John 13:35, John 14: 1-6, John 15: 9, Acts 1:8, Acts 2: 42-47, Romans 1: 16, Romans 5: 1-5, Romans 8:28-39, Romans 10: 9-10, Romans 12: 1-2, I Corinthians 6: 20-22, I Corinthians 10:13-24, I Corinthians 12: 4-6, I Corinthians 13: 4-8, II Corinthians 5:16, Galatians 5: 1-22, Ephesians 2:8-9, Ephesians 3:20, Ephesians 4:2, Ephesians 3: 15-16, Ephesians 5: 1-2, Ephesians 5: 21, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 2:5, Philippians 4: 4-8, Colossians 1: 15-16, Colossians 3:12-17, II Thessalonians 1: 3, I Timothy 2: 16-17, Titus 2:11, Philemon 1:4, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 11:5, Hebrews 4:12, Hebrews 10:22-25, Hebrews 12: 1-2, Hebrews 13:5, James 1: 19, I Peter 4:10, I Peter 5:7, I John 3:1 and Revelation 4:8. – Can You Hear Me Now?
Lori Ferguson serves as Children's Director at NUMC, and has been at the church since 2015. When she's not planning or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her grandkids. Read more about Lori here.