Listening with Purpose
Have you ever been in a rush to get somewhere and been stuck behind a slow driver? This usually happens to me on Sunday mornings. I’m a pastor’s wife who needs to drop my toddler off in the preschool area and get ready for band practice, all before 8:00 a.m. While the roads are clear of their usual traffic on Sundays, I, of course, find the one person who’s out for a leisurely drive. They’ve got plenty of time—probably woke up early, had a quiet morning drinking coffee, watching the sun rise, and are going to get to church well before service starts.
And then there’s me. Behind them, impatiently thinking, Drive with purpose!
Now, I could probably use a lesson in time management from my fellow driver—and I don’t advocate speeding. But my point is, you can tell by someone’s actions whether they’re moving with purpose, or just going with the flow.
As Ecclesiastes says, “There is an appointed time for everything” (3:1). There’s a time to smell the roses, and a time to light a fire. But when it comes to paying attention to what God has to say to us, we ought always to give Him our undivided attention with a ready spirit.
In his message, “Listening to God—Walking With God,” Dr. Stanley explains the difference between being a purposeful listener and a passive listener. He says that purposeful listeners are learning, absorbing, and applying the truth they learn to their lives. But passive listeners hear it, walk away, and forget it, never intending to apply it to their lives.
Which one are you? Are you paying close attention to God’s voice and following His guidance? Or are you merely going through the motions, hearing but not letting His Word change your life and mold you into the character of Christ?
Today, listen with purpose—and experience the blessings of living in the will of God.
Written by Linda Canup
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