Proverbs 1:5 (NASB) “A man will hear and increase in learning…”
Today’s focus from my “Top 10 List” in on listening.
- Gratitude and Praise
- Nourishment – Daily Diet of the Word
The Hebrew word for listen is “schema” which implies not only hearing, but also obeying. In the Old Testament, the Lord told His people countless times to “hear” or to “listen” In the New Testament, He says at the baptism of Jesus:
Mark 9:7 (NIV) “Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son (Jesus Christ), whom I love. Listen to him!”
There are numerous times that Jesus himself told people to “listen” or “hear”. Obviously, the art of listening is one that is important! Too often, we “hear” without understanding or “listen” only to then dismiss what was said.
Listening to the Lord took practice for me. I tend to jump into action or “fix it mode” a bit too quickly, rather than waiting patiently for life to unfold. Those of you who have known me for a long time can attest that patience may not have been one of my strong suits in the past! The Lord created me with an ability to see the big picture as well as all of the details and options accompanying it. So, my mind spins from possibility to possibility to… Therefore, slowing down to listen did indeed take practice. Tools to help me listen to the Lord include:
- Finding a quiet spot to sit, close my eyes and imagine being in the Lord’s presence
- Taking a walk and appreciating creation – which has included seeing bears, a panther, bobcats, foxes, snakes, deer, turkeys, coyotes, lots of beautiful trees and flowers, and mountain vistas. So, sometimes my sightings make my heart race! One time a deer ran down the middle of the road toward me and then circled around me at the last moment to pause and stare at me. There is always a message from God to me after these occasions.
- Sitting outside and observing cloud formations
- Sitting in a chapel by myself
- Listening to quiet praise or instrumental music
I like to refer to intentional waiting on the Lord to speak as a “holy pause” that allows Him to reveal the condition of my heart, to convict me of my need for forgiveness, to reveal more of Himself to me, to encourage me, to direct my daily steps, to show me for whom to intercede in prayer, to enlighten my understanding of His Word (even if it a passage of Scripture I have read hundreds of times) and of the times in which I live, to remind me of who He is, etc. These are beautiful times accompanied by tears, awe, laughter, spontaneous praise, and joy! Truly, my soul is refreshed, my focus is sharpened, my course is clarified, and my energies are renewed.
Note to Warriors: Everything the Lord says in His written Word (logos – the Bible), His spoken Word (rhema), and through personal revelation to you is important. So, pay attention and practice retention! Keep a journal by hand or online so that you can reflect on what the Lord says to you. Our next focus will be on the integration into your life of what the Lord reveals to you.