Thursday, July 03, 2008

Listening to God

Those who have the ability to hear have been given a great gift. It is easy to take this gift for granted. One way we take it for granted is by using selective hearing. Selective hearing is when we only hear what we want to hear. People do it all the time. Maybe they are in a discussion, and they are not listening to what the other person is saying because they are thinking about what they want to say. Or maybe they are distracted (like when I watch TV) and don't hear what their spouse is saying.
I know there are many times when I try and say something to my kids, and their answer is, "What?" even though I am standing right next to them. And then when I don't repeat what I said, and they think about it, they realize what I said.
Our hearing is really an amazing gift, because without it we would not be able to communicate. If you only talked, and didn't listen, there would be no communication. And yet this is what we do to God all the time, and we call it prayer.
When we come to God in prayer, we usually do all the talking. And most of the time our talking is just asking God for things, or asking God to do things. We don't take the time to "listen to God." And then we get discouraged when our life doesn't go the way we want it to.
Now granted, it takes practice learning how to listen to God, but it is possible. That why Jesus said in the Bible, in the gospel of John how He was the shepherd, and His sheep hear His voice. We can learn to hear (discern) the voice of God. Think about it this way, there are people who call you on the phone, and with hearing only one word from them you know who it is, because you know their voice.
When I pray, and I quiet the thoughts in my head, I will hear a "still small voice" speak to me. This is the voice of God. And as I have learned how to listen to it, I can be guided by God's speaking to me. Prayer is so much more wonderful now that I can listen to God; now that I can have full communication with God (talking AND listening).
I encourage you to practice listening to God. It will make a difference in your relationship with God, and it will make a difference in how you live your life. What do you think?