The chatter right now is at an all time high.
There are so many people saying so many words about so many things, it’s practically deafening. Everywhere we turn new details, updated information, and bold opinions are being tossed into the social arena at ear splitting decibels. We’re accustom to moments of social intensity, but we’ve never experienced these thunderous cries. It’s overwhelming, stressful, and discouraging.
How do you know who to believe? How do you know what to think? How do you process all the noise and come to the right conclusion? It’s simple.
But the key is who you listen to. We aren’t suggesting you listen to everyone. Or, to just anyone. We believe the key to gaining understanding and obtaining wisdom is found solely by listening to God. This is not an oversimplification of an extremely complex problem. This is the ultimate solution for our desperate need. God knows everything (1John 3:20), He sees everything (Proverbs 15:3), nothing is hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13), and His understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5). God knows what we don’t know. He sees what we can’t see. He understands what we cannot. And, His perspective is perfect (Psalm 18:30).
The best part about this is, He isn’t keeping all this insight to Himself – He’s sharing. Proverbs 2:6 (NLT) says For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. God is telling what He knows and sharing what He sees. He’s offering insight and giving clarity for the confusing chaos we’re living in. We only need to listen.
Unfortunately, listening isn’t high on our priority list.
It’s been said the average Christian spends between 2-8 minutes a day in prayer. This is the average, which means many of us are not praying at all. And often, the time we spend in prayer is spent talking as we give God our list of things needed and offer our dutiful thanks. Very little, if any, time is spent actually listening to what He has to say.
God longs to share His heart with us and constantly offers to tell us what we could not know otherwise. Things we need to know. From secrets about the future to the practical, everyday needs, He wants to tell us. We don’t have to beg. He invites us to ask and listen.
- Jeremiah 33:3 (NLT) Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
- Isaiah 48:6 (NLT) …I will tell you new things, secrets you have not yet heard.
- Isaiah 28:23-29 (NLT) Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention. Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds— black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat— each in its proper way, and each in its proper place? The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding. A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail. Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom.
- James 1:5 (NLT) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
From the farmer to the theologian, God is teaching! The God of the universe is liberally giving wisdom and understanding for both today and tomorrow. We only need to listen.
Even though the answer is simple, it’s not always easy.
That’s why we aren’t good listeners – it’s not easy. Listening requires discipline on our part. We need to silence the world around us. We need to quite the noise within us. We need to tune-in to His frequency. And that requires intentionality. Commitment. Pursuit. It’s a partnership – an interactive process that necessitates effort on our part.
We mentioned Proverbs 2:6 above; but check out verses 1 – 12. These verses are full of instructions on how-to listen, as well as the bountiful benefits of listening. We’ve underlined the how-to part and made the benefits bold.
My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.
Listening requires time, energy and effort, but it’s worth the investment. Every day, Father God is inviting us to conversation, giving us the opportunity to invest and listen so that we may know. May we be like Samuel and daily say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1Samuel 3: 1-14)