Actively Listening to God

Lately I've been shaking off that post-partum mental fog, and as it is slowly replaced with greater clarity, I ask myself:

Am I actively listening to God?  

Am I watching to see where He's at work so I can join Him?

Am I leaning in to hear what He's saying to me?  

What about you?

Do you expectantly read His word, confident that He is the Good Shepherd who will lead you?

Or, do you approach His word with a dutiful heart, or even not at all?

Are you leaning in and staying close enough to hear His voice?

Or, does He have to shout to get your attention?

Is His the voice that your heart is tuned to, so that when He speaks, you know it right away?

Or, are you so distracted that His voice get lost in the cacophony of noises in your mind and heart?

Throughout Scripture, we're given pictures of different people who looked for and listened to God:
  • Adam and Eve WALKED with God, but ran from Him rather than to Him after they'd sinned.
  • Job lost everything, and had "friendly" voices around him telling him what to do... still, he sat in ashes and waited to hear from God.  When God spoke, it was powerful.
  • Noah was a righteous man in a wicked generation and when God asked him to do the illogical, he listened and did it, and his family was saved.
  • Abram lived among idol-worshippers-- straight up pagans-- but when God spoke, He recognized it, gave up everything he knew, and willingly followed God into the unknown.
  • David (before, during, and after times of great sin) sought God, poured out his heart to Him, and was given the description as "a man after God's heart."  His heart continually turned to God, and remained malleable and reachable by God.
  • Jonah, the reluctant missionary, bitterly followed God, and then sat down to watch and bemoan God's mercy.
Among people who lived in or near Judea during the time of Jesus, there were different responses too:
  • The Wise men saw a star... one solitary, easily-ignorable sign, but these men saw it, and sought out the meaning of this question in their minds... and found the Messiah, the true King
  • The disciples were each called by Jesus, and responded to His call.  They left the familiar to follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
  • Judas apparently also spent three years following this same Jesus, listening to His teaching, and yet was unchanged.  Was he not listening?  Did he hear but not understand?  Was his heart hardened?  Was his heart tuned to other things?  Did he love money more than God?  
  • Paul was not one of Jesus' disciple; in fact, He actively worked against Jesus and the Way.  But once the truth was made plain to him, he left the old ways and threw himself wholeheartedly into the new Way.  
Different people, different responses.

Thinking back over the list, which response characterizes your heart and life?  
  • Are you leaning in and listening for God's voice?  Are you regularly, actively, wholeheartedly searching Scriptures, eager to find and prize a word from Him?  Do you see Him at work and join Him in it?  Do you recognize His voice and act when He speaks?  Do you know His Word well enough that you can discern what is from the Spirit and what is from the flesh?
  • Or, are you disconnected from Him? Are you distracted and non-committal when it comes to pursuing godliness?  Do you listen to other voices more than His?

Where are you, spiritually speaking?  And has God been speaking to You?


Images courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom/ and artur84/

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