Huh...so I have to listen?
Of all human activities, man's listening to God is the supreme act of his reasoning and will.
(Pope Paul VI)
Listening to God is harder than you might think! We can 'hear' God and then we can really "HEAR" God. The first 'hearing' is just merely letting it go in one ear, consider it a little while, then lose it as fast as we received it. The latter 'HEARING' is us really being intent on ruminating on what God tells us and allowing that word he gives to begin to affect our total being - thoughts, emotions, attitude, and eventually our actions. Did you stop for a moment to consider what Pope Paul said there - listening to God is really an act of the will and our 'reasoning' power. Do you know how to always have the right answer when you need it? You learn it before you need it!
Joy is found in giving the right answer. And how good is a word spoken at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23)
The 'right answer' isn't all that far away from our intellect, nor our hearts. The attitude of listening and then applying what it is we are hearing - that is the problem! We can reason just fine - we can work out problems in our minds pretty well - but are we working them out all on our own, or are we listening to what God has as the solution (the right answer)? The 'right answer' isn't always what we can rationalize or reason through in our minds. Sometimes the right answer is something totally foreign to the way we normally think or act! God's direction in our lives needs to begin to break down the walls and really 'get through to us' in order for us to act any differently than we have been acting.
Reasoning and will are closely related, but how many times do we act without really thinking it through? If you are anything like me, it is probably quite a bit! Reasoning is a dangerous thing if it is done in a vacuum. The 'vacuum' of our own reasoning and will can get us into deep trouble at times. By its very nature, a vacuum is a space totally devoid of matter - so when we just 'get inside our own heads' and shut out the 'matter' that God wants to put in there, we are relying upon less than a 'full thought process'. Do you know the danger of a vacuum - it exerts less pressure than might be expected otherwise! When we limit our 'right answers' to what we think or feel, we are probably excluding the 'pressure' God wants to put into the situation!
Joy is found in giving the right answer - reasoning and will need to both be submissive to allowing God's input into the matter at hand. To truly listen to God, we have to submit our reasoning - what we think, how we think about something, and even what is behind our thinking on the matter. This is why 'will' is linked with reasoning - we have to submit our thinking to God and then really turn our attention toward listening. Remember where I started today - to really have the 'right answer' BEFORE you need it means you learn it before you need it! Listening to God's direction isn't always quick, but in the 'rumination' process, much is learned. Just sayin!