Are You Really Listening?

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.

speak-lord-for-your-servant-is-listening

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)

Crystal Twaddell  Word-of-God-Speak

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20 thoughts on “Are You Really Listening?

    1. It is definitely worth letting go of doing to take some time to listen. I’ve enjoyed reading about how beneficial you have found it.
      Do you mean the email with your guest post? I got it and replied on Wednesday- the post is great. Did you not get my reply, or is there another email you sent? That is the only one I got from you.

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  1. Lesley, I feel convicted by your words. For all sorts of reasons, listening to God has been harder to do this season as I’ve let my contemplative prayer practice slide. Yes I cry out to God all the time, but I haven’t always stopped to listen for His reply, or just sit and soak restfully in His presence. In those times when we’re searching for answers we would do well to seek sacred pauses first and foremost. Thank you for giving me food for thought! May you be blessed in all your listening moments. 🙂 x

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    1. Thanks, Joy. It is important to find space and silence to wait for God’s answer. It’s very easy to rush off without making time for that, even when we are trying to seek him. May you be blessed too as you listen!

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  2. Oooooohhhhhh… So much conviction.

    I use noise and movement to distract me from anxiety. I fear being quiet because the fear gets so much louder and scarier in silence. At the same time, the way God made me, I really NEED quiet. The world and people in it drains me. I’ve been running on empty for too long, doing the “right” things, but in my own power.

    Thank you, friend, for this admonition.

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    1. I was really only addressing this to myself, but it seems it’s connecting with a few others too. And I relate to what you say about fearing the silence. I think that’s part of my hesitation too sometimes but I also need the times of quiet to really connect with God.

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  3. Hi Lesley! What a beautiful truth you have discovered! I am often the same way you were though. I dump out my wants and needs, and rush away to get to that ‘to-do list’. Not much of a relationship, right?
    I hope that God will give me the powerful grace to remember to listen for his voice. Your post reminds me of how important that truly is.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ceil. It is important to listen instead of just rushing away. As you say, it’s not much of a relationship otherwise. I’m glad this was a useful reminder. Blessings to you too.

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  4. Love this: “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.” Such a powerful admission. Thanks, Lesley!
    Have a great week!
    Shauna

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  5. Yes, yes, Lesley. We’re usually too busy doing the good things and neglect doing the best thing which is to sit still and know that He is God … and to quietly listen to what He longs to share with us.

    Thanks for the way you’re sharing what you’re learning with us …

    Liked by 1 person

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