1/22/2004 0 Comments
The husky man stopped gathering firewood to check on his son. He scanned the surroundings with no lad in sight. “Nicholas!” Again and again he yelled his son’s name and was met by silence. I could see by his face and body language his rising fear. Nicholas was happily peddling his tricycle around the track the last time I saw him. He waved at me as I went running by him. But now he was nowhere to be seen. Fowler Middle School’s track is adjacent to Fanno Creek and woods. A young boy could easily get lost or hurt. So I stopped running to join the father’s search. I found Nicholas dragging his wheels on the far side of the creek seemingly oblivious to his father’s cries. Days later, I can still hear “Nicholas!” ringing in my ears. I remember the look of gratitude in a father’s eyes. And I’m compelled to think about listening.
Acts 10:33--Therefore I immediately sent for you, and you did the right thing in coming. So we are all present before God, to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Young Nicholas was either distracted or lost in daydreams, too absorbed to hear his dad. Listening is an art that seems greatly endangered. I wonder how many times God calls my name and I don’t hear Him! How often do I miss His instructions? Better yet, what causes spiritual deafness or selective hearing?
Nine Reasons Why People Don’t Listen
1. Hard, hostile hearts—Exodus 8:19
2. Stubborn, rebellious pride—Nehemiah 9:29; Psalm 81:11
3. Foolishness—Proverbs 12:15, 18:13; Ecclesiastes 5:1
4. Complacency—Isaiah 32:9
5. Idolatry—Isa.65:11,12; Jeremiah 11:10
6. Dissatisfaction with the message or messenger—Jer.6:10; John 9:27
7. False security—Jer.22:21
8. Evil is preferred—Zechariah 1:4
9. Distractions—Luke 10:40
If we want to know and follow after God we must listen to His voice. Although He rarely audibly speaks, His Holy Spirit directly communicates to us through the Bible, through others, through circumstances and by directly speaking to our hearts. Listening literally saves our lives! Therefore we ought to know what will help uspay attention to our Father. May I share with you:
Nine Principles That Will Make Us Better Listeners
1. We submit to God by carefully paying attention to His words—Exo. 15:26, 23:21,22; Psa.85:8
2. We are quick to listen, slow to speak—James 1:19
3. We understand that silence promotes listening—Deuteronomy 27:9,10
4. We recognize our need for help—Exo. 18:19 (Moses listens to his father-in-law)
5. We love and fear God—Deu.30:20; Psa.66:16
6. We are eager to gain wisdom—Pro.1:5, 8:33; Acts 10:33
7. We trust the one speaking—John 10:3
8. We concentrate (free ourselves of distractions) so as to hear the Lord—Luke 10:39
9. We value truth—John 18:37
“So we are all present before God, to hear everything . . . “
God will never make us listen to Him; we have to will to listen.—Oswald Chambers in Notes On Isaiah
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Rachel Maxey Miles