Listening is a lost art. We’ve all had the experience of talking to someone and we could tell they were not listening by their body language…they don’t make eye contact, they’re looking past you at someone else, they do not participate in back and forth conversation, they answer your questions wrong, they mumble “uh huh” frequently, they’re fidgety, and you can sense they’re just not engaged. The only thing I hate worse than talking to someone who is not listening, is someone who is lying.
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood-communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.
Listening is one communication skill we should all aim to master. I admit, I’m not the best listener either, but I am working on it!
I read an article one time that said if you were a good communicator you had a better chance of landing a job. Listening is so important that many big companies provide listening skills training for their employees. It makes sense, because think about it…good listening skills can lead to more satisfied customers, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and more innovative work through sharing of creative ideas.
One of the most awesome benefits of being a Christian is hearing God speak to us personally. There is no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it. But the average Christian seems to have a hard time hearing God’s voice.
Ironically, God is constantly speaking to us. He wants to give us direction, but I’m convinced the reason we do not hear His voice is because we are not listening.
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:3-5
In verse 3, He states His sheep DO hear His voice. All true believers can and do hear the voice of God, they just don’t recognize what they are hearing as being God’s voice.
Here are 2 keys to hearing God’s voice:
- Listen Learn to listen. Hearing and listening are not the same. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences. Notice, hearing just happens, listening, requires some effort on your part. I believe that’s why many do not hear God speaking because it requires some effort on our part. It requires choosing to listen, concentration and processing the information. Too many are sitting in front of a TV most of the time and expecting to hear God’s voice. It’s not going to happen. We’re just too busy doing other things. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We must be still and tune our spiritual ears to listen to the voice of God.
- Impressions The voice of the Lord comes to us in our own thoughts. Because of that, we don’t think it’s God speaking. The Lord speaks to our spirits, through thoughts or impressions. Have you ever had a thought pop into your mind, seemingly from nowhere, and it took you by surprise? I certainly have! Driving home from work one sunny, October afternoon, I was listening to praise music and worshiping God. His presence was so real, when suddenly I heard His voice, “You’re daughter will announce she’s going to have a baby before the end of the year.” I had been praying and fasting for this, but at that moment I was not even thinking about her plight. She had been trying to get pregnant for 4 years and nothing was happening, but on Thanksgiving Day she handed me and her mother-in-law a card that read, “Congratulations, you’re going to be a grandparent!” It happened, just like He told me. He doesn’t typically say, “Do this or do that,” but He will impress your spirit to do something. If that happens, obey, the results will always be a blessing when we’re obedient to His voice and His leading. I believe if we’re reading our Bible, praying, and seeking Him He will guide us and those impressions will be Him speaking to us. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4 People often misunderstand this to mean we can have whatever we want. But it means He will put His wants or desires into your heart. He will make His desires become your desires.
God is always speaking, but we’re not always listening.
Learn to listen and be impressed! You will be amazed at what God will say and do in you’re life.
This morning before my devotional time the scripture came to my mind about going from glory to glory and I just spoke out loud, “Yes, and that means I’m going to another level in 2016!” I couldn’t even tell you where that scripture was located, but listen to this…my scheduled chapter to read this morning was 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3. The last verse reads, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:
I knew that was God speaking to me. He confirmed it through His Word. I decree and declare it…I’m going to another level this year in Jesus’ name. Ministering angels go and perform it. You have you’re assignment. I release you now, Go!
Going from glory to glory,
Let’s talk! What has God spoken to you for this year? Or share a time when you heard the voice of God speak to you about a certain situation.