Are You Listening?

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Listening seems to be a simple enough concept.  We have ears to facilitate one of our senses — we use them regularly.  We know all about it.  Hear and respond with our mouth.  It is important in our everyday activity.  We converse with others and realize that without hearing our ability to communicate is severely diminished.  So it is with God.

But the scripture takes us to a different understanding.  James writes, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19).

God said, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”  (Luke 9:35).

The relationship with God is rooted in listening to Him through His Word.

Listening is a significant concept in the scriptures.  As a verb, “hearing” or “listening” appears over 1600 times in the Bible!

It means to receive or hear and understand a reported noise.  It implies a silence and stillness in order to hear.   It has a responsibility component, implying obedience to what is understood.

So, how to listen?  The Psalmist writes:  “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).

Listening is the quiet, still activity of intent fully slowing ourselves down, closing off the outside distractions and pressures and being still before God and His word and then applying.

The culture values business, action and running.  But listening requires silence and stillness.  How?  It must be intentful.  Jesus went to a quiet place to pray and listen in the morning to get perspective.  He provides the example worth emulating.

Men in the marketplace, caught up in the pace of life, in order to survive the chaos and gain the perspective only the Scriptures offer, must make time to be quiet to listen to the God of the Bible.

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