How well do you listen to God? Although listening begins with paying attention, it doesn’t end there.
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Luke 8:18a
How well do you and I listen to God? That’s not a random question. It’s the one Jesus poses to us within Luke’s gospel. Therefore consider carefully how you listen (Luke 8:18a).
Although listening begins with paying attention, it doesn’t end there. Within Jesus’ command to consider, the word, “listen” means to hear, to understand, and to obey.
Consider how you listen. Do you listen like King Asa? For his forty-one year reign, he listened most of the time. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land, got rid of all the idols, and even deposed his wicked grandmother as queen mother (1 Kings 15:9-13). Although he did not remove the high places [he didn’t entirely listen], Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life (1 Kings 15:14).
Consider how you listen. Do you listen like Jonah? Jonah received God’s message to preach against Nineveh and ran away from the LORD (Jonah 1:1-3). He blatantly disobeyed God. Deliberate defiance came with consequences and for Jonah that included a violent storm at sea (Jonah 1:4), and three nights and days inside a great fish (Jonah 1:17).
Consider how you listen. Do you listen like Ananias and Sapphira? They pretended to listen. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had (Acts 4:32). Ananias and his wife Sapphira pretended to be part of that group. They sold a piece of property, but kept back part of the money for themselves. The consequences of their feigned listening was deadly (Acts 5:5, 10).
Listen and hear God speak. Read your Bible every day. Moses said, “He is to read [the scriptures] all the days of his life so that he may learn how to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees” (Deuteronomy 17:19).
Listen and understand God’s Word. Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:3-5).
Listen and obey God’s Word. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous (Romans 2:13).
Prayer Step: Consider how you listen. Pay attention to the way you hear, understand, and obey God today.
The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian. A.W. Tozer