One of the things that amazes me about Five Minute Friday is how God often uses a single word to speak so powerfully. Today’s word is “listen” and the message is coming across loud and clear.
I should have known. The story of Samuel listening to God’s voice came up twice for me yesterday. At my small group last night, the topic was listening to God. We were challenged to set aside time in silence each day, even just five minutes, to do nothing else but simply sit and listen to God. I was up for the challenge, but for some reason the message didn’t sink in properly until I saw the word for Five Minute Friday.
I need to listen.
For a while now, I’ve been seeking God for direction. I want his guidance, I want to hear him speak and I want to obey, but I’ve been feeling frustrated because I’m not hearing any answers to my questions.
I’m praying and asking, and I’m reading the Bible and journalling, but I see now that I haven’t really been listening.
When I am trying to speak to someone, I can tell if they’re not really listening, if their mind and attention are elsewhere. And when that happens, especially if it is something important that I’m trying to tell them, I will switch off and shut down. I won’t even continue trying to tell them unless I know I have their full attention.
Because of this, I am usually good at listening to other people, and I do make an effort to really focus on them and what they are trying to say, but I see now that I haven’t been doing the same with God.
I’ve been expecting him to shout over the noise, rather than taking the time to be still and listen to his still, small voice. I’ve been asking, but then I’ve been rushing off without waiting for his answer.
And if he is trying to tell me something, especially something important, why should he do that if he doesn’t have my full attention? If I can do it for other people, surely I should be able to do it for God?
So, starting today, I am making time to switch off the noise, shut out the distractions, let go of my preconceptions about what I think the answer should be, and just listen.
“My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”” (Psalm 27:8)
“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)