Sunday, July 21, 2024
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsDrawing Closer to God: Are You Listening?

Drawing Closer to God: Are You Listening?

When both my boys were toddlers, they would often not pay attention to me when I gave an instruction, especially an instruction they didn’t want to follow right at that moment. Sometimes they would respond, but I knew they weren’t really listening. The parenting books all agree that when talking with children you should get down to their level. “Look right here, at my face,” I would say, and then make eye contact. Often, I would make them repeat what I said so I knew they understood. 

Early on, toddlers also learn “face time” means you are listening to them. If I were distracted, they would get up in my face, sometimes to the point of holding their little hands on each side of my cheeks, looking me right in the eye and saying, “Mommy, you have to listen!” 

God took on human flesh as Immanuel — God with us — so He could come down and get on your level. He says, “Look right here, at my face…” and He gives clear distinct instructions. Sometimes He waits for you to repeat the instructions back to Him, so He knows you understand. 

“I love the Lord because He has heard my voice… because He inclined His ear to me…” (Psalm 116:1-2 ESV). 

Each day, if you take a few moments to commune with your Father, you can be certain He hears you. The above passage says He inclined His ear, which means He leans in and gives you His undivided attention! If you have ever experienced this, then you understand why the Psalmist wrote the next phrase — “Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” When you really know God is listening, you will learn to take every concern and every care and crawl up into His lap to talk to Him. 

Even as my children got older, giving too many instructions at a time could be a problem. So, with my youngest son, we started what we called “practice listening.” I would give an instruction and say “now, practice listening” and he would reply with “so what you are saying is…” and repeat back what he understood the instruction to be. Finally, the most important step is following through with the instruction given. That is how I know my son really heard me — when he follows the instruction! James 1:22 says “be doers of the Word and not hearers only….” 

Sometimes, God takes this approach with you and me. He has given all the instructions. He wants you to read them and then practice listening! Repeat back the instruction so He knows you understand. That is what makes studying the written Word of God so important. You must read it to hear it. You must understand it to be able to follow. You must follow through to prove you heard the instruction in the first place. 

Beloved, are you listening?

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