This week, I want to share what I believe is one of the most important commands that God requires of us. Before we can love him, obey him, serve him, receive him, or worship him, we must first hear him.
In Mark 12:28-29, one of the scribes came to Jesus and asked, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him by quoting a scripture. He said, “The first of all the commandments is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one.” Jesus goes on to explain that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. But, before we can do that, we must hear. How do we know how to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind if we can’t hear him?
Listening, according to Jesus, was very important. Throughout scripture, Jesus would say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15). Why? Because it is through hearing that we receive faith. It is the words of God spoken to our heart that kindles our faith, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Picture the scene: Jesus and three of his disciples–Peter, James and John–went up to a mountain. There, Jesus was transfigured right before their eyes. As they watched, Jesus’ appearance changed from an earthly body with dirty clothes to a heavenly body with a brilliant, white robe. Moses and Elijah were there. Heaven touched earth. And when it did, God the Father’s voice thundered with this simple command: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him” (Mark 9:7).
Before we can do anything, we must listen to God. We must hear him. Sadly, most cultures shun the thought of “hearing God.” Sure, you can talk to God–that’s called praying. But if God talks to you, then most people think you are strange or spooky. Why is that? Why can we talk to God, but him not talk to us? I think the devil knows that so much of our strength and confidence and peace come through hearing God. So, if this enemy of God wants to thwart those good things from the Father, he only needs to convince us that God doesn’t speak or that we can’t hear him.
On the contrary, God does speak. And, we can hear him. Jesus explains very clearly: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). We can hear his voice, not his audible voice, but his still, small voice that speaks to our spirit. Through convictions, thoughts, circumstances, dreams, situations, God guides and directs our lives. Why? Because he longs for a relationship with us.
“So how does this relate to fear and anxiety?” you may ask. For anyone battling anxious thoughts or crippling fear, listening to God can bring peace. Why? Psalms 85:8 explains, “I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones.”
You see, God is constantly speaking peace over your life. If you can just listen for a moment and hear your Father’s heart speak to your heart, you would hear wonderful, peaceful, restful words of love that can transform you from a fearful human being to a confident, peaceful child of God. That’s what listening can do.
All relationships are birthed in communication–husbands and wives, parents and children, friend to friend. God created us for relationship. This week, I encourage you simply to do one thing–listen. Take time to listen to the peaceful words God wants to speak over you.
Awhile back, I setup a new blog to help people learn how to hear God more clearly called My Journey with God.
Prayer: Father, help me hear your voice. Help me to turn off the things of this world, and tune in my spiritual ears.