20-22 Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health.
(Proverbs 4:20-22 The Message)
Many of us don't remember the process of "tuning in" a radio any longer. Our electronic devices have "auto-tune" features, allowing us to scan through various stations until one comes in with the clarity of reception that is desired to be considered something we could "listen to". We also have "pre-programmed" tuning buttons that we can set to our "favorite" stations. Both of these features help us to keep our attention on other things, while allowing us to "tune in" to whatever we desire to listen to at that moment.
"Back in the day", as my kids would say, we had to "tune in" to a radio station by adjusting the antennae just right, gently moving the dial up or down a notch or so, until the "signal" came in clear enough for us to recognize the station by what we were "receiving". I think that may be what the writer had in mind when he said that we have to "listen well" and "tune our ears" to hear his voice.
I don't think that we have the "auto-tune" capability most of the time when it comes to God's voice. In fact, most of us would probably admit to many times of "going right past" his voice because it was a "weak signal" that we just didn't take enough time to tune into! What makes that signal "weak"? It is the position of the antennae, or where we are at in the moment we are hearing that "faint signal" of his voice. In other words, how well we position ourselves to hear his voice matters!
I have one of these portable GPS units that I just love for assisting with navigating to a new place. The signal that it receives is totally beyond my understanding, but I trust that it knows where I am by the little picture of my car on the road I am travelling. It is also amazing to me that it knows the speed I am travelling, the distance remaining in the journey, and the speed limit that is appropriate for the road I am on! It is kind of awesome to have all those features available to me.
But...and this is the crux of what I want us to see...I have IGNORED the advice of the device on occasion! I see road-work signs and then I veer from the course it has set for me to follow. As I do, it goes through this process of "receiving afresh" the signal it need to "recalculate" my location and put me back on course. Try as I might, I cannot ignore the constant reminders of "recalculating" and "turn right at the next turn, travel 1 mile North, and re-enter the freeway at exit number..." Why does the device keep doing that? It is because I gave it access to my life!
I turned on the device, evaluated where we wanted to go, and then trusted it to get us there! Whenever I ignore it, the device attempts to recalculate in order to get me back on track because it "knows" the intention of my journey! The same is true with our Lord - he knows the intention of our journey and he goes through tons of "recalculating" maneuvers with us in order to keep us on that journey! We often ignore his voice telling us to go one way, choosing instead to go another. But...and this is the important part...his signal still comes through loud and clear when we are ready to listen!
So, tune in, listen well, learn God's voice by heart! It is in the aligning of our spiritual "antennae" with his voice's signal that we find the greatest satisfaction in the journey of life!