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Listening To God

Hebrews 1:1,2- “God…has spoken”

“You weren’t listening” is a common complaint about me from my wife. Listening is a powerful human activity. But it often is the missing ingredient in human interaction. The source of many problems between people, individually and collectively, is lack of communication. I am convinced that often the real cause is a failure to listen. To be trying to be heard, to express a need, a concern, or to make a point and to sense that the other person is not listening rates at the top of the frustration chart. Everyone wants to know they are being listened to. And most relational problems can be worked out if we really listen to one another.

Listening is the primary starting place for a journey with God. In the Bible it goes like this: God speaks, calls and God’s people are to listen/obey. Submission to God’s word is the basic ingredient of the spiritual life. And God’s word once spoken did not go away but was to be recalled/listened to forever. The call to love God (The Shema) was followed by instructions:

Keep these words…recite them to your children, “discuss them in your home, make them a sign on your person and on your house” (Deut. 6:4-9).

The reason is simple. Life is created by God’s word. The world was spoken into existence. The NT identifies this creative word with Jesus. The book of Hebrews describes Him as God’s final (complete) word.

However, it is not always pleasant to hear. In the book of Nehemiah we are told that when the people heard it they wept. William Willimon says,

“You may think that the toughest task of a Christian is serving on your church’s Finance Committee without losing your faith. No. Your toughest task as a Christian is to hold your life and your church accountable to this peculiar odd, not made for television story called the gospel.”

If we are to become good/holy people it begins with listening to God. Are you listening? To be continued.

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