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Hey, listen up!

We can become quite 'selective' in our hearing. Guess what? That might just make us a little too 'selective' in our "hearting", as well! Our heart may be less than responsive at times - a little to calloused for anyone or anything to actually break through. When this happens, it is time to get alone with God, spend some 'quality time' allowing him to renew that heart through the Word and times of worship! The most amazing thing about God's method of "dealing with us" is his ability to get right at the heart of the matter - what it is we need to have dealt with at that very moment! He certainly does not beat around the bush when it comes to "focusing" on an area of "opportunity" in my life, but I don't always pay attention to those areas he is trying to focus on. God does not mince his words - in turn, we can learn the right way of living that is reliable (trustworthy) and then walk in it - but to have our heart affected, our hearing has to be tuned up and tuned in.

I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me. (Psalm 119:7-8)

If you have children, or grandchildren, you probably have had at least one opportunity to point out to them the path they are taking as maybe not the best. Maybe it was in the choice of a friend they were making, or the lack of progress they made with their scholastic accomplishments this semester. They may have made unwise choices in how they interacted with each other when they didn't get their way. Whatever the "opportunity" for improvement might have been, you had one thing in mind by "pointing out" that opportunity - it is time for them to embrace change! Your sharing was meant to open their eyes to the fact change was needed.

God uses much the same method with us - he points out the opportunities for improvement, then expects us to embrace the change! God speaks straight from the heart! The question I pose this morning is: With what "ears" are we listening to what he says? I put "ears" in quotations because I think we have some differing "tactics" for "listening" that we use on occasion. For example, when our least favorite part of our television shows are blaring, we hit the TV remote "mute" button, or have learned to 'turn a deaf ear' to them. We "began" to hear what was advertised, got annoyed with hearing about the same product for the 50th time in the two hour movie, and "muted" the volume in our brains. We are being "selective" in our hearing!

Whenever we use the "mute" mode in our hearing process, we are essentially making a judgment of the worth of what we are hearing spoken. This may work well for us when "shutting out" the commercials during our movie, but it does not work so well when it comes to "selecting" what it is we will listen to when God speak into our lives! We often don't "want" to hear what God is speaking - but the lesson in the hearing is in the receiving of the message. To receive, one has to be actively engaged! There is not "selective muting" with God! He hears all we speak - knows all we think - and his "remote" does not have a "mute"! So, don't we owe him the same respect? Some of us hear what we want to hear! We run the "ingredients" of God's message through the filter of our mind, emotions, and/or experience. The message takes on a whole different "look and feel" when this occurs. What came from God's heart as something as pure as water gets "colored" by our perceptions, emotional state, and/or past experiences.

If we want to be "connected" to the heart of God, we need to learn to hear what his heart is speaking. Filters need to be removed - muted messages need to be avoided. We need to be straight with God and he will be straight with us. It is in the true "engagement" of our heart in the listening process that we realize the intention of his heart toward us. So, listen well; listen actively; and listen in order to truly hear! God's is just itching for that kind of attention to his heart's message! Just sayin!

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