Are You Listening? For What? {#HearItUseIt}

God speaks.

While other gods fuss and fury, it’s a fundamental distinctive of the Christian faith that our God speaks. Not with incomprehensible utterances, but with words. Words filled with meaning and motive and force. From the opening pages of Scripture to its closing, God is speaking.

Are we listening? For what are we listening? These questions were the heart of Sunday’s sermon. Reminding the church of the core values that guide and shape the life of this family of faith, the pastor began with the centrality of the Scriptures. This family is committed to the nurturing of a deep devotional life, or living of life “up(wards) to God,” as I have heard it said.

It occurred to me how easy it is make the “devotional experience” too much about me and not enough about God, the One who in fact I really want to know. It becomes a practice that I do, rather than a time to sit and listen and be in awe of what God has done. A time to be inspired by His words concerning what He still will do. When this experience is all about me, it becomes unreliable. Moody. Unstable. 

The remedy to this is to recognize the essentialness of God’s Word in any devotional experience. Only God’s Word is reliable. Through the words God has spoken He gives me a sure word to direct my thoughts and my emotions toward Him as He really is {not as I may want Him to be or not to be}. God speaks with truth through the error of my feelings, circumstances, and misguided thoughts to lead me to know Him truly. 

In an age of sound bites and ticker tapes of information, God’s speaking about Himself can be lost on us. Too many tweets. Too many blogs. Too much T.V., radio, newspapers. Too many texts. We live in a swampland of words and our senses have become numb to the important ones that rise up from the mud to carry words of love and hope. 

Today, everyone is speaking. We are caught in the traffic of blah, blah, blah from self-appointed authorities. Sadly, we often approach the Scriptures the same way. We ‘favorite‘ the feel-good passages. ‘Unfollow‘ the convicting ones. And we forget, it is God who is speaking…in every word on every page.  

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” 2 Peter 1:19-21.

This provokes some desired change for me. For one, I need to spend less time immersed in meaningless words. They have desensitized me from the treasure of God’s words. This means I’ll be cutting back time on Twitter and Facebook. Silencing these voices will help my ears to more carefully hear the kind cadence of my Father’s whispers. 

Secondly, I’m taking some time to pause between passages to praise God for what He has revealed about Himself in what I have just read. My husband and I are doing a 10-chapter a day reading plan (one chapter from 10 different books of the Bible). I’m really enjoying how the Scriptures are interpreting themselves. Yet, I am reminded that each word that God speaks about Himself deserves my praise. I will be taking some time to more intentional reflect on His attributes and to thank Him for His faithful witness of Himself to us. 

If the question is “Am I listening?” The answer must be “Not well.” But it can get better by answering correctly the second question, “For what am I listening?” I am listening to God speak. 

How about you? How would you answer the questions? Do you find it hard to focus on God speaking in His Word? What are some things you have done to turn down the volume of things that compete with His voice?

Today I’ve linked up with Michelle’s Hear It on Sunday Use It on Monday. Take a visit and be encouraged by what others have been discovering about God in their faith communities.

2 thoughts on “Are You Listening? For What? {#HearItUseIt}

  1. One of the most helpful things I’ve learner is to take small segments (like one verse) and focus on it throughout the day. Patience is also important. God speaks quietly and slowly at times. We live in a microwave world and serve a crockpot God!

  2. I do find it difficult sometimes to focus on hearing God speak because the world is so loud. One of the ways I work to remedy this is to memorize scripture. When I memorize new verses and review old ones, God quietens my heart and mind is a wonderful way. Thanks for a great post!

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