Listening to God

I was in my fifties when I was dismayed to discover that due to substantial hearing loss I needed to wear hearing aids. I already wore spectacles. Was I falling apart already and growing old prematurely? I just told my husband and brooded, feeling fed up.

It was around this time that a lady in our home group said she had a word for me. She told me she had a word for me about my ears. I promptly took notice. Was God going to heal me?
She said she had a picture of me sitting in God’s presence with a beautiful gold substance pouring out of my ears. There were a few wisecracks about it being ear wax before she continued. She repeated the vision she’d had of me, then went on to explain its meaning.
She told me that as I grew deaf to the things of this world, so this would enable me to listen to the things God had to say to me. It seemed that in order to draw me closer to Him, God wanted me to stop listening to the noisy clamour of this world. This was such an amazing word for me at that time!

Luke 11:28 was quoted, “But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it” and also Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known”.

Since that time over twenty years ago, the stresses and noises of the world have increased. We have our televisions, we have our computers and mobile phones, and it’s so easy to listen to them all our waking time, mainly for work, but also for talking with friends or playing our favourite music. We enjoy being with people so we can chat, sing and dance. We love to do these things in a church situation too.

This made me wonder. Do we do these things and in so doing, shut God out without realising it?
Recently I spotted these words written by Lou Fellingham, “How many of us have asked God to speak to us recently? We want to hear Him, we want to know Him, we want to enjoy Him more. This is the cry of our heart. The trouble is that we often ask God to speak but don’t take the time to wait and to listen. We cram our lives full, we put headphones in, we have noise around us constantly and although God may be speaking, we have too many other things filling our ears! Let me encourage you today as you ask God to speak, to turn off the TV, put your phone down, take out your headphones and listen. The Holy Spirit is eager to rush to us. He is eager to meet with us. He is eager to meet with you”.

We may want Him to speak to us; we may ask Him to speak to us. But do we wait quietly to hear His answer? Or do we rush off to do the next thing on our list? Or maybe even sing to Him so loudly we don’t hear Him whisper in response?

Sometimes we do need to sit in silence, simply being with our Father, or just silently falling before Him in worship, acutely aware of His holy presence.

There is a difference between listening and hearing. Listening is concentrating on the speaker, whereas hearing can be more of a general thing where we’re not concentrating on the words spoken to us. Listening is more of an activity.

A final thought: it’s hard to hear God’s voice when we’ve already decided what we want Him to say.

Diana Moss