Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. – Psalm 34:11
How good are we at listening to the Lord? Throughout the Bible, God spoke audibly from heaven and through earthly vessels. Sometimes He spoke as loud as thunder and in a still small voice. In all ways, God’s will has been presented in the most meaningful way for the hearers. Yet still we have often ignored Him, being led away by our own interests and desires.
Many years ago I was walking through the woods on my grandfather’s farm with my dad, me just jabbering on, when suddenly he held up a hand and stopped walking. He said, “Shhh. Do you hear that?” When I told him that I heard nothing, he said, “Listen.” I insisted that I still heard nothing. Finally he said, “Exactly. It’s quiet.” It took me a long time to appreciate quite.
Very talkative and curious as a child, I was easily distracted and carried away not listening to instruction as I should. As a minister, I was introduced to How to speak, How to listen by Jerome Adler. Adler posits that all good speakers must first be good listeners. Clearly this idea has implications in the ministry, but it applies really everywhere. If we cannot listen and understand the desires and perspective of others we cannot speak with them but talk at them. How much more so in our relationship with God? If we do not listen, how can we hear? If we do not hear, how can we know the will of our beloved Heavenly Father?
I encourage you brothers and sisters. Be still and listen. Open your eyes and ears. Shake off the sleepiness that so easily besets you.