Are you listening? This question is usually asked when we can tell that we don’t have someone’s full attention. I’m sure we have all been asked this question, as well. We usually know the basic topic of conversation, but we have either zoned out or are busy trying to do something else while someone is talking to us.
I wonder how many times God says this to us. Does he say it in church when we are singing the words to the songs but not really worshipping? Does he say it when the pastor is preaching, and we are more interested in what is going on around us?
Does he ask the question when we are reading the Bible just because we know we are supposed to instead of reading it to hear from him? Does he ask it when we are praying and we are doing all the talking? We have no problem expecting him to listen to us but we want him to send billboards, neon signs and use a bullhorn when he speaks to us.
We often complain that God is not speaking to us when the truth may be that we are not listening. If listening is hard for us then there are steps we can take to improve. When reading the Bible, read only a few verses at a time and really focus on how they can be applied to your life.
We know that we can pray anytime but try to have at least some time each day when everything is quiet, and you can invite God to speak to you. Write down what you are thinking he is saying to you. Always be sure that what you think he said lines up with his word. If it doesn’t fit with what the Bible says then it wasn’t God you heard. He will never go against his word or his character.
When we learn to listen in private then listening in church and corporate worship will be easier. We will go ready to listen and praise the one who is so faithful in listening to us.
“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding.” (Proverbs 2:2) (ESV)