I’ve been reflecting and praying a lot on the idea of listening. I hope you’ve taken some time, just to listen. In the last few days I’ve basically given up trying so hard and decided to implore God to teach me to listen.
So far…I’m still learning.
However, 0ver the past few weeks I’ve unearthed what I think of as the Four Ears of Listening to God. All four of these must be rooted in God’s Word, the community of the Church and with the leading of the Holy Spirit. I hope they’re helpful to you and I hope you’ll let me know what you’re learning about listening to God.
Ear #1: Relational Ear
The Relational Ear is the one that embraces the day-to-day listening to God’s Truth and Love. It sounds obvious, even oblique. But if we’re going to listen to God, we have to be walking with Him on a regular basis. Yes, this means talking to Him in prayer, absorbing His word personally and in community and serving Him by serving others and His Church. We listen in relationship.
Ear #2: Patient Ear
The Patient Ear is the one that actively waits on the Lord, seeking Him alone when He seems to be silent. Growing in the patient ear means letting God work at his pace and in his timing even (and especially) in times of our own confusion, doubt and suffering. It’s hard to hear God when our minds and bodies are running a million miles a second through this life. We listen as we wait.
Ear #3: Submissive Ear
The Submissive Ear hears and accepts the truth of the moment regardless of the consequences. When we refuse to open our hands to our lives, we are refusing to listen. What do you need to hold in open obedience to God? (Here’s a hint – if something keeps coming to mind and you keep dismissing it…that’s it!) We listen when it stops becoming “about us.”
Ear #4: Thankful Ear
The Thankful Ear hears the truth of our lives. True joy and blessing pulled out of us in thanksgiving, praise and adoration for who God is and what he means to us. Take and moment and thank God…He deserves it. We listen when we are grateful.
As God develops in me all Four Ears, I notice that I’m actually listening to God. Our Four Ears develop, grow and hear more clearly as we continue to walk with Jesus daily in spirit and in truth. May it be so with you and with me.
Keep listening…really listening.
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.” Proverbs 20:12 (ESV)