This is What Happens When You Listen…

Y’all…I have been having such a spiritual renewal since Sunday! I hadn’t been feeling like I was where I was supposed to be spiritually for a while, and I just couldn’t see to get back there. One thing that I noted a couple of months ago was a fixation I had on Hebrews 1:1-2. I just kept going back to God trying to talk to me, and me not picking up the phone…er, Bible.

I was on a mission to make it to Sunday school on Sunday. I arrived, late, but just in time to hear something in the lesson that made me say, OK, yes, this was meant for me to hear and take to heart. Then the service was about moving forward and leaving the basic things behind– once you get the basics down, you can move on to more and more challenging things and get better and better, but you have to move. Wow, He’s still talking to me! I read the Sunday School lesson again on Monday to get the parts that I missed and got even more out of it. Then on Tuesday, at our rescheduled Singles meeting, we were discussing finding the purpose God has for our lives and how to use our talents and abilities while we are single. Yes! I was asking for clarity of vision. Well, here’s a lesson on how to use your talents and find your purpose. Then last night’s study of Psalms 38-40 just blew my mind.

Many of us spend so much time talking–to family, to friends, to God, to strangers on public transportation or in line at the grocery store–that sometimes we forget to listen. When we listen, we hear encouragement, solutions, suggestions, support, or just acknowledgement that we have been heard. Sometimes God is trying to tell us where to find what we are looking for, but we just won’t shut up and let him respond. Sometimes people want to help us, but we won’t listen to their advice, either because of who they are or because what they said wasn’t what we wanted to hear. Eventually people will stop trying to tell you and you will have to come to them and tell them you are ready to listen.

The minister at my church taught a lesson called “That’s All I Have to Say” out of Hebrews 1:1-2 that stuck with me. He talked about how many  different times and in so many different ways God spoke to people, and how in these latter times He speaks to us through Jesus. He said that if you can’t get it from Jesus, there isn’t another messenger coming. God has said all He’s going to say. The Bible is there for us to read and hear Him; when we obey the Gospel, we receive the Holy Spirit to guide us and enter into a community of believers who will encourage and exhort us to good works. However, God isn’t going to speak to you in a burning bush anymore. My desperate wish for a 50 story high neon sign just isn’t going to be fulfilled. At some point, I have to stop talking, stop worrying, stop threatening and demanding, stop feeling depressed and overwhelmed and just listen…or better yet, just read. Meditate on those things that God has said to you. Allow it to answer the questions you have been asking. Search the scriptures until you find it. But most importantly, shut up.

This is always a hard one for me to swallow. I love to talk. Talking is my life sometimes. But in order to communicate, you have to listen as well as talk, and not just be quiet until it’s your turn to speak again. It really strips me bare anytime I study the tongue in scripture. I am still struggling to keep mine in check. But God remains faithful and so willing to have a conversation with us if we will only listen.

Just had to share with someone a bit of what I’ve been hearing when I finally stopped to listen. What have you been hearing? I’m listening.



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