Really Listening

Monday August 29, 2011

How many times have I said, “Are you listening to me?” (I can hear you nodding your head.)

But today the tables were turned on me. I’m pretty sure I heard God say to me, “Are you listening?”

What does it take to really listen to God?

I think of Mary and Martha. Mary sat at His feet and listened; she was focused. Martha? She was distracted by the meal, the preparation, everything around her. Christ said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few are needed—or indeed, only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41,42).

To really listen to God, I must focus. Sit at His feet.

Recognition. In 1 Samuel 3, God calls Samuel, and Samuel doesn’t recognize Him. He’s a child working in the temple, but this is his first encounter with the voice of God. Surprisingly, Samuel even sleeps in the room with the Ark of the Covenant (v. 3), but he doesn’t recognize God's voice. Just being in His place isn’t enough; we begin to recognize a voice when we hear it over and over.

I can’t focus and listen only once in a while. If I hope to recognize when He speaks my name, I need to have consistent time with Him.

Selective hearing.
I must be sure it’s His voice I’m hearing. Most of the time I listen to other people talk about God instead of listening to Him. As good as teachers and books and blogs are…they aren’t Him. His Word and His voice must be my staples.

That time? It must be with Him. Not a devotional or a book about Him or my favorite sermon tape. All of those are helpful, but nothing is like communing with the Saviour.

May I move away from what is good and step toward the Best.

Linking up today with Michelle for Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday and Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!


Michelle DeRusha said...

This is the second post I read tonight about spending time in God's Word as practice for hearing him. Clearly a message I need to hear!

Shanda said...

Selective Hearing! It is so true. With so many devotionals and inspirational blogs, as well as books, it is easy to use them instead of just reading God's word and listening to what HE is saying.

Jean Wise said...

I feel God nudging me quite a bit, whispering, "Pay Attention." Listening to HIm is a lifelong process.

seashore said...

Thank you for these great reminders. I really needed them especially the part about selective hearing. Using what is good to bring you to what is best.

Unknown said...

thanks for the hearing aids....

amanda said...

That's so true - it's easy to fill up on devotionals and blogs, but there is nothing more important that communicating w/ Christ.

Anonymous said...

I love that last line...May I move away from what is good and toward what is best!

Unknown said...

Just last night, we were reading Jesus Calling for Kids before bed and it talked about listening to God before we got to work. And did I do this? Of course not! But tomorrow is a new day and to tell you the truth, I've been trying to let Him after the rest of the day. All is not lost!

Pamela said...

Excellent. I want the best, too. It's easy to get caught up in what everyone is reading, who they are listening to...and it's good. Even good for our hearts. But nothing can take the place of time with God. We are blessed to have this reminder.


Unknown said...

This is a really timely reminder to me to make the time consistently to listen to God - I felt like He had to really shout at me this week because I hadn't been paying attention. Thank you for sharing.

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