I’ve just returned from school. I led the assembly and enjoyed it. But several of the children were talking while I spoke, so they did not know what I’d said. They couldn’t answer my questions afterwards.
How like us.
Many people fail to understand what’s happening around them because they don’t listen.
The information might be available but it’s useless if we don’t listen. But worse is the unwillingness to listen to God. He speaks to us for many reasons. Firstly, God speaks because He wants us to know Him. It’s through listening to a parent that we get to know them. We recog nise their voice and the emotions it conveys. We communicate. And in the same way we only learn about God and His way by listening. Like anyone in a crowded market, we need to learn to discern God’s voice when many others speak at the same time.
God speaks because he wants us to follow him. Only after we learn to recognise the sound of God’s voice can we actually hear what He says. That message will differ, but it will always convey a message of love, commitment and compassion.
And God speaks to us because He wants us to live lives of holiness. After learning the sound of God’s voice, and listening to what he says, we then obey. We are called to be disciples—and that word has more than a passing resemblance to its twin, ‘discipline’.
Listening is a skill, but God would never ask us to do something we can’t do. He will help us to listen. Ask him to speak to you in different ways, at different times, through different people. And He will.