The Gift of Listening

There are some things that are scarce and very valuable. These are things like respect, honesty and leadership. One of the things that is most scarce these days is listening. God says that listening is a very commendable thing and He talks about it often in the Bible.

The Eyes of Our Heart

Listening is something really commendable and God speaks about invisible ears that we need to develop.

“… blessed are your eyes because they see; and your ears, because they hear” (Matt. 13:16).

God’s talking about something else — the eyes of our heart. There are some of us who have been Christians a long time and we don’t hear anymore. Our ears have become dull and God is saying that it’s time to wake those up. Sometimes we, as God’s people, can make His voice commonplace and we don’t hear Him anymore. We lose the ability to hear. How do we keep our ears clear and distinct so that we can hear His voice?

DEVELOP LISTENING

Listening has got to be developed. It can get dulled if we don’t keep it clean and distinct.

“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and however does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him” (Luke 8:18).

He is saying that much of the abundance of your life, the fruit of success, your innovation, your ability to work with people, will be determined by how you listen. God gave us two ears and only one mouth to remind us that we should listen twice as much as we speak. It’s how we listen, because often, we listen selectively. That’s why God says to take care how you listen, because if you have wrong things inside, you’re going to hear wrong things from the outside.

DEVELOP THE GIFT OF “EARS THAT HEAR”

Start learning to listen by going God-ward—listening to God—because God is going to teach us how to listen to Him. Then we’ll be able to sense the hurts and hear what’s going on through people and with people.

The first thing that we’ve got to do is ask God for help and start by learning to listen to God. When we’re reading the Bible, God is speaking to us. Doing devotions teaches us to stay still and listen while God is speaking.

As you read the Bible, you get to know more and more about the heart of God, the heart of Jesus.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me” (John 5:39).

If you don’t know the heart of God, you misinterpret it. That’s why it’s so important that, as you read the Bible, you get to know Jesus. Once you begin to know the heart of God, everything begins to fall into place. Then you’ll start to learn to become a good listener because you’re not misinterpreting things.

What is the first hint that we’re starting to learn how to become good listeners?

LIVE DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU HEAR

This means that what God says starts to show results in our lives and starts to work its way into the very fabric of that which we are and our personalities start to change little by little. In other words, God is changing us from glory to glory into His image. That’s the first hint that we’re starting to learn to become good listeners — when we start to live differently because of what we hear and what God has been saying as we sit at His feet.

PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME FOR LISTENING

This was exampled by Mary in Luke 10.

“She [Martha] had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His Word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; … the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:39-42).

The same word that God is sharing with Martha, He shares with us. You must choose the most important part, because if you don’t, you’ll be distracted into oblivion and you’ll do everything except that which is most important.

As you learn to prioritize your time before the Lord to listen, you’ll be surprised how much time it will save you. But really, there is only one thing that is necessary and you must choose it. When you start listening to God, you’ll be surprised at the things you’ll start to hear.

Prioritize your listening … He has much to say; we have much to hear.

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