Friday, April 19, 2024

Are You One Who Listens?

Are You One Who Listens?
by David Brenneman 

"‭Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:8 

Jesus was teaching...and called out.  When you read Ezekiel...the key points of the words Ezekiel was given to say was to evoke listening. 

MercyMe had a song out called "Word of God Speak" (2002). 
"I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say
Word of God speak
Would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That you're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In your holiness
Word of God speak
I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice
I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay"

Are you actively listening to the Spirit, or are you among those who casually listen and pick n choose what you will listen to?

Are you fully devoted to following Jesus or just whenever it feels right?

Are you only coming to hear what He has to say when you've nowhere else to turn?

If you are only coming to Christ for help when you think you're in Dear're in trouble. 

Jesus never taught a single thing for His own health. 

Jesus never spoke to anyone just to hear Himself speak. 

Jesus never went around to puff Himself up.

Jesus never spoke on His own initiative, but said whatever was important to His Father. 

What about you?  For me, it's a daily struggle.  Probably the most often prayer request that I have is for forgiveness for something that I either shouldn't have said, or should have.  For thoughts I shouldn't have thought or for missing an opportunity that was presented. 

Our lives are not in our hands. 
Let's get that straight right now. 

We come to Christ, we aren't now free to roam about the cabin, free to go and do whatever without consequences. 

We aren't receiving a get out of Hell free card and the perks being one who's now able to just go off n suit ourselves to any desires without consequences.

We come to Christ to be saved, and He starts the work of sanctification in us.  We, on our part, must be actively listening to the Spirit.  We must realize that to take up our own cross and follow Him wasn't a suggested course of action that was optional.  That if Jesus said something would happen, that it would happen. Those who wish to live Godly in Christ Jesus are going to be persecuted.  Whether in big ways or small, it would happen. 

Jesus is our example on what the pattern of our lives is to be modeled after. 

He set the standard. 

A carpenter, and yes the irony is not lost on me, has a vision of a finished work in his mind.  That carpenter will likely sit down with a ruler, possibly a protractor, a means of measuring, with paper and pencil to formulate his ideas.  Then will take some forms of raw wood and create his ideas.  He works at it until that vision becomes the reality. 

You came to Christ, hopefully you did, and He saw the finished work already.  Then He began the good work in you. He will complete it someday.  Much will happen to remove and add to your life to accomplish your sanctification. 

Listening to the Spirit is part of that.

When the Spirit tells us of things that have no part in that process, that need to go, then they need to go.

When the Spirit teaches us anything, we need to pay attention. 

Regardless of how the world or family views it.  Our responsibility is to our obedience to God's Word and Will for our lives. 

Don't be a bit surprised if some or all of your walk with Christ isn't understood by others fully.  It's your walk with Jesus.  He has other things in mind for other people and their walk with Him. 

As Jesus told Peter when Peter was more interested in Jesus's comments about others..."What's that to you?  You follow Me!".

Are your deeds, your thoughts, your actions, indicative of a Believer?

Are you really following as long as it is in line with what you want?

Are you putting on a show for others and haven't really been listening all along?

Let today be the day of listening for you.  We may have plans for our lives but He has THE plan for your life in Christ.

The Spirit isn't going to yell in your heart and mind.  

Trust and obey...for there's no other be happy in Jesus...but to trust and obey. 

ALL who sit at the feet of Jesus benefit from listening rather than doing all the talking. 

It may mean giving up an hour or two of television or streaming.  It may mean really stopping to actually pray an not just over the food you eat.  

It may mean letting go of your desires in order to achieve His desire for you.  

Are you listening?  A famous movie quote is:  there's a difference between knowing the path and walking it.

Constantly not listening leads to a hardened heart.  So much of the Old Testament explains the hardened hearts of the children of Israel.  Hard and insensitive to the things of God.  Putting things and even people above your relationship with Jesus is the falsely sweet candy of this world.  It's end is filled with bitterness while it's onset is sweet. 
All forms of idolatry begin with euphoric highs...yet end in bitter dispair because they never delivered. 

A listening life in Christ delivers. 

What are you doing to listen to Jesus today?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation. 

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