Have you ever been asked are you listening to me? Or can you hear me? What is the difference? Is listening and hearing the same thing?
Well, there’s hearing, and then there’s listening.
Hearing is the ability to perceive and receive sounds or information.
Listening is actually giving your undivided attention and understanding to the sounds and or information received and perceived.
In the book of Jeremiah chapter 7 it describes what not listening to God looks like. These verses are tragically sad, but unfortunately not uncommon even today.
In Jeremiah 7:13, 24, 26-27 NLT
“While you were doing these wicked things, says the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer”.
“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward.”
“But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors. “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen”. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond.”
These Old Testament accounts are huge red flags warning us of the danger ahead when we don’t give God our full attention with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength. Why? Well, if we aren’t paying attention to God and His ways, we’re headed in the wrong direction—going backward and not forward. Too often, these wrong paths take us to dark and destructive places.
Danger of distractions
The culprit of distraction is usually some innocently attractive lure such as a busy work and leisure schedule, raising children, a quest for more of something i.e. advanced degrees, better employment, or even an electronic gadget with a host of fun surprises!
Now I’m fully aware that my children have perfect hearing, but too often they’re listening capabilities can be a bit passive! Sometimes the only thing that will grab their attention is my secret code words: “I have something for you” and Instantly they’re hooked and reply, “Wow! Really, Mom?” I then confess, “Nah, I just needed your attention!”
To be completely transparent, I can be a passive listener, at times too, like when the smart phone has my concentration over my family. “Mmhmm … what’s that again, babe?”
We may laugh at these typical faux pas, but this is really not okay. It’s dishonoring to people. And when it comes to ignoring God, it’s tragically undervaluing Him and downright rebellious.
If we’re going to fully follow our heavenly Father, we’re going to need to pay attention to His messages! Remember, His divine communication comes in a variety of formats: Through His Word, Isaiah 30:21 NLT states
“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
Or it could come through a fellow believer’s counsel, a Bible Plan, a dream/vision, a whisper, or a nudging thought. Yes, the mode of God’s communication is vast because He’s a BIG God and a communication expert desiring to continually connect with you!
So know that this is the time and season to hone in on God’s word, fix your minds to focus solely on His promises. Dedicate carved out time to “medicating” on scriptures as Apostle Cynthia Brazelton so eloquently states it. Joshua 1:8 NLT states, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Ask the Father
What is distracting you from paying attention to Him?
Prayerfully request to remove those distractions and ask how to be more focused on the things of God?
I like to think of God’s will for my life in the same light as the tracking systems “GPS” but my acronym for GPS has a different meaning (God’s personal strategies) and (Guiding people specifically). God is intentional and has your entire future mapped out, all you have to do is listen, obey and follow. So let’s commit to being about what God wants today! Try setting aside at least thirty minutes a day. I heard this saying and have since made this a personal decision and termed it “Thirsty 30” this is (10 minutes in prayer, 10 minutes in the word, and 10 minutes in worship). At some point this will increase, because your hunger and thirst will increase but this is a great way to kick start being about your father’s business.
****Remember distractions don’t look like distractions until they are finished distracting you. Fix your eyes on Jesus and let Him clear every distraction in your life. It’s time to focus!!
Please share your thoughts, and comments. I will be sure to respond. I pray you are encouraged, empowered and inspired. Be blessed! In Jesus Name