Are You Hearing But Not Listening?

I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening.” Hebrews 5:11 (The Message)

They say women talk an average of 13,000 words more per day than the average man.

In my household this is not true, it’s completely reversed.

My son talks far more than anyone in the family and with the nature of my husband’s job he certainly, without a doubt talks twice as much as myself.

But when I do talk I get highly frustrated when I’m not listened to…

“For the 3rd time, make your bed!” I hear myself saying like a broken record to my son.

Then talking to my husband I can see that what I’ve said is stuck on a conveyor belt of thoughts in his mind like “the generation game” until eventually he answers me or says, “Pardon?”

Every day we are bombarded by the voices speaking to us through social media, through music, through the newspapers, through popular opinions, through friends and family.

It’s overwhelming. It becomes like “white noise” and so we can have a tendency of switching off.

Hearing but not truly listening.

Definition: “Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.” (Google)

In this modern age of communication overload, I have to question…Have we shut off and turned a deaf ear to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit? Does the word of God still penetrate our minds above the voices of this world?

In scripture we are told again and again to listen…

These words keep ringing in our ears: Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.  For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.” Hebrews 3:14-19 (The Message)

There are many loud voices speaking into our society at the moment, and now more than ever we must tune in to the still, small voice of God. Not only hearing His word but listening, understanding and obeying.

“Jesus said to them, “My mother and brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it.” Luke 8:21 NLV

It’s a challenge.

Whilst worldly popular opinions are making headlines, are we embracing God’s word and outworking it in our lives or does it blend into the monotonous humdrum which vie for our attention daily?

If we are to listen and not just merely hear we must daily meditate on scripture.  It doesn’t have to be huge chunks. It could be just one or two verses which resonate with you. Speak them over and over like a mantra. There is power in repetition.

Alternatively, listen to the audio version of your favourite translation of the Bible. You’d be surprised how much you take in and what verses spring out and speak to you as you listen.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Secondly, know the voice of God.

“My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.” John 10:27 (TPT)

Get familiar with the voice of God. Take time to listen and journal what He is saying to you. The more you do this the more you will recognise when He is speaking to you. Note: He will never contradict His word.

“Make very sure that you never refuse to listen to God when he speaks! For the God who spoke on earth from Sinai is the same God who now speaks from heaven.” Heb 12:25 TPT

Finally, don’t just listen…obey!

Yes,” said Jesus. “But God will bless all who listen to the word of God and carefully obey everything they hear.” Luke 11:28

We are here as Christians on this earth to make a difference.  It’s very easy to keep quiet and go about our daily business minding our own business.  But God is challenging us in this very hour not simply hear Him, but listen to Him and obey.

We are His hands, His feet. He wants to shine through us. His words needs to be in our mouths to speak, hope, truth and life into this earth.

vx


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