By Jaime Luce
Are we really listening? I have seen this quote several times lately and I even shared it on Facebook myself. It’s a truth that’s worth paying attention to. It is said that communication is at the heart of most of our relational problems. Many times we think that the person we have the conflict with just isn’t listening to us. I mean really have you ever said “You’re not listening to me.” Or we feel misunderstood. We say “You don’t understand”. I think we are all right because we are usually not really listening. And here is the kicker. God is saying the same thing to us. “You don’t understand” and the reason you don’t understand is that ” You’re not listening to me”.
We do have a hearing problem. It’s so funny how for the most part we think it’s always the other person. So hang on. Don’t tune me out now. This is what I mean. It really is exactly what the quote says. So here is another quote for you.
You know when we are being formed in our mothers womb we develop our ears before our eyes. God is so wise. This is why scripture tells us that the just live by faith and not sight. Justice is truth with right actions. This we do because we know it is right regardless of what it may look like on the outside. And how do we know what the truth is? By the only source of truth, the Word of God. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). And how do we gain the trust or faith in that word? Well the scripture tells us that Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So what it’s saying is that even though we read the words with our eyes it is our spirit who hears it. It’s the hearing that affects us from the inside out. Our sight affects us from the outside in. If we live from the outside in we will always be shaken by the storms around us but if we live from the inside out we won’t be moved by the surrounding storms.
I’ve also heard it said to think about what you are thinking about which is a right thing to do. But I submit to you to think about what you are listening to? If faith comes by hearing we must be diligent about what we hear. Hearing God was an inherent gift given to us at creation. God came and walked and talked with Adam and Eve everyday. This was not only what we were able to do but what we did regularly. It isn’t some spooky thing to think we can speak to and hear from our creator. You wouldn’t think it strange for a father to talk to his children and yet so many do. We have been tricked out of our relationship with the most awesome powerful holy God who happens to be our Papa. Every little boy likes to have that “my dad is bigger than your dad” or “my dad is stronger than your dad” verbal contest. Our daddy put that in us. He wants us to know he’s the biggest, strongest and most awesome there is and then to rely on that knowledge.
So this then brings us to a crossroads of sorts. Because not only can we hear from HIM but He expects us to listen! Imagine that. A parent expecting his child to not just hear but listen and act accordingly. And this isn’t because He’s mean or a tyrant with a big ego wanting his way but because He’s a good father and he wants to teach us how to grow and be secure in who we are as His children. The problem is we rely on our eyes and not our ears. When He speaks He expects us to listen. To think you can’t hear is a lie. How can we ever grow up into strength if we can’t hear who we are, where we are to go and what we are to do? We must receive the truth that we can hear. Mark 4:24-25 says “Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” This is such a great promise! If I listen He will talk to me even more. I can choose how much I hear from him. But by the same token if I don’t listen He will quit speaking. Isn’t that how it is with each other? After a while if the person you keep talking to just doesn’t listen then you quit speaking. We no longer waste our time. Which brings us back to our quotes. We must become people who listen in order to learn and grow and not those who mearly listen in order to reply. When we only want to reply we show just how proud we are in thinking we already know it all and don’t need to be taught. We must humble ourselves and listen to our father. Then the great benefit is His promise that faith will rise in us because faith cometh by hearing. His words are available to us everyday.
If you aren’t reading His words or praying and conversing with Him you really can’t hold Him responsible when you feel confused and don’t know what to do. We must grow in our faith knowing He has made the way for us to hear Him and know Him. The faith that comes is not a faith in faith which is nothing more than positive thinking but the knowledge that He will do what He has promised. It is that truth that allows us to walk by faith and not by sight. Sight without hearing can be very deceiving. It’s like those videos that depending on the music in the background can fool you on what you are watching. If I see a shark in the water with circus music in the background I exect silly clown activity with bumbling around and running into things but if I hear the Jaws song I expect someone to die! We need our ears open and paying attention. We need to listen with the intent to hear and learn. Let’s be good stewards of the ears we have been given. They affect our very spirit.
Today you can rest in the knowledge that you have a good dad who wants to walk and talk with you. He will give you the guidance and strength for whatever journey you find yourself on. Don’t choose to walk alone or in fear. And for goodness sake don’t go listening to all the wrong things. On this journey pack your bible and take heed to what you hear. I promise He will speak.