Truly Listening to God

Recently, when I communicate with my wife she will tell me, “We just talked about this!” At almost 30 years old,  this problem is not one I can blame on an aging memory. Instead, the culprit is selective hearing. This summer, my wife and I have found that we have been busier than we had been during the winter months. I have never been inclined to use a daily planner, so I have found that my brain will categorize what I am hearing and tend to fixate on what it feels is important to remember. Usually, this ends with forgetting most of what my wife has said, or my brain communicating incorrectly because I wasn’t actively listening.

The same communication pattern can apply when communicating to God. Hebrews 3:15-19 reads, “’Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?...So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”  When facing the hardships, the Israelites chose to have selective hearing. They focused so much on their temporary problems and wanting an immediate solution that they hardened their hearts to God. They failed to truly take to heart when the Lord said, “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.” (Exodus 23:31-33)

With Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, God vowed to lovingly embrace His children for eternity in Heaven. In return, His children must promise to love Him back and keep His commandments. (1 John 3:24) God’s Spirit can sanctify the soul and transform it into a light that shines His perfect love. If a person wishes to be made complete by God, then they must listen with the intent to be transformed by Him and apply what He has taught in their daily lives. Hebrews 4:11-13 reads, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Children of God will have everything they need in abundance if they listen to Him. He told the Israelites everything they needed to in order to enter into and thrive in the promised land.

 I have learned that by actively listening to God, I have been able to better communicate with my wife and others. With God you don’t have to rely on old patterns of communication. He will improve all your relationships if you let Him. God’s tender loving message of acceptance and healing is what heals mankind in our world. Healing comes from an atmosphere of pure love. One can achieve that when they truly listen to and embrace His all perfect truth.