But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6:23)
Stephen Covey was the one to remind us of the importance of listening to understand, not as so many of us do by listening with the eager intent to reply. God isn't looking for 'replies' as much as he is looking for us to make right life choices because we listened. I don't know about you, but I listen a whole lot of the time with the intent of replying, asking questions, getting answers. I don't listen as frequently with the intention of doing what I am asked to do!
It is very important for us to recognize the one who is actually speaking to us. I have lived over six decades now and can tell you for certain - there are MANY voices in this world that demand our attention. They seek to persuade us one way or another, but we can choose to listen or shut them out. It is a dangerous thing to not recognize the voice of God in our lives because we will be more likely to respond to a voice we should ignore when we don't know his voice over another's.
How do we get to know his voice, so our choices can be pure and righteous? It comes by spending time with him. When I started this blog nearly twelve years ago, my hope was that we'd all get to spend just a few moments together each day considering the 'voice of God' through his Word. His Word is a powerful thing when it is 'considered', 'pondered', and 'rehearsed'. It is even more powerful when it is 'heeded', 'obeyed', and 'incorporated'. The voice of God isn't always audible, but it is ALWAYS powerful when our listening leads to actions.
Real life is available to those who will embrace his instruction - whether we 'hear' his voice audibly, through the reading of his words, or because we see an example of his grace and redemption right in front of us. We just need to be open to listening without leaping into how we want to respond. When we wait to respond until he has finished speaking, we may actually realize our response needs to follow an entirely different pathway than we might have initially taken. Just sayin!
P.S. Now...go back and read that passage again...and listen to the truth God has for you today.