Are You Listening?

listening

“Listen! Whoever is thirsty, come to the water! Whoever has no money can come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk. You don’t have to pay; it’s free!

Why do you spend money on what cannot nourish you and your wages on what does not satisfy you? Listen carefully to me: Eat what is good, and enjoy the best foods.

Open your ears, and come to me! Listen so that you may live!” (Isa. 55:1-3, GW, bold emphasis mine).

Wait a moment. Here the Bible is telling us to open our ears. But in the very same book, five chapters earlier, Holy Spirit told us that He will open our ears (Is. 50:5). Which is it? Is it supposed to be us, or Him, opening our ears?

Both.

Communication with God is a two-way street. He will overwhelmingly make up for our human frailty by opening our ears and empowering us to hear Him. However, He can only do so if we follow the instructions in this Scripture and actively listen. What does this look like? As we consider the answer, here are several other translations’ renderings of this same phrase, “Open your ears”:

  • “Incline your ear” (NKJV).
  • “Give ear” (NIV).
  • “Listen now” (GNT).
  • “Pay attention” (HCSB).
  • “Come to me with your ears wide open” (TLB).

Are we “inclining our ear?” Are we really setting aside time each day to lean in eagerly, listening for His voice? Are we “giving ear?” In prayer, are we quieting ourselves enough in the conversation to give Him a turn to speak? Are we “paying attention?” Are we making hearing from Him one of the highest priorities of our day?

Do you know what one of the biggest obstacles is, to hearing Him speak? It’s not believing that He really wants to. I suspect that many of us doubt that He does (in the depths of our secret hearts, maybe where we haven’t even acknowledged it to ourselves.)

But we are wrong. The truth is, He longs to communicate with us. He aches for it. Do you hear His heart as you read the words above one more time? Let your mind be richly renewed by their truth. He is imploring us to draw near to Him… for the sole purpose of hearing Him articulate His heart to us. Truly, He yearns to speak very personally, very intimately, with each one of us. So He entreats us; urges us, to listen closely, hungrily, for what He wants to tenderly impart to us.

And what happens if we heed this imploring? Our souls will live! Our inner being will fill up with His life! We will delight in the most luxuriant of fare! We will receive health, vitality, courage, nourishment!

Instead, so often, we run around in a frenzy, trying to solve our problems in our own miniscule strength, with our own diminutive wisdom. Holy Spirit addresses this, gently asking us, “Why do you spend money on what cannot nourish you and your wages on what does not satisfy you?” Why are you devoting the resources of your time and energy to what drains you, instead of to what will invigorate you with supernatural strength?

Lean in and listen! Do you hear Him? Do you hear the One who loves you more than His own life speaking? “Open your ears, and come to me! Listen so that you may live!”

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Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe that Daddy wants to speak with you, intimately and often?

9 thoughts on “Are You Listening?

  1. Actually, I am not sure about how often The God Who Is wants to speak with us, although He certainly wants to hear FROM us more often than He does. And that will likely affect how often He speaks TO us. Good word, it IS a two-way communication!
    Certainly, we need to be attentive to hear when He does speak. It may be just to remind us of what He has said in His Word, or it could be specific narrow directions: e.g. “Go to the green house on that street and knock.”
    However, we must always be careful claiming “God told me . . .” as Jeremiah (chapter 14) and Ezekiel (chapter 13) both provide warnings about someone claiming to prophesy when He has not spoken.
    It is disconcerting and disappointing when “prophets” speak about elections or specific instructions to a believer and the results seem to show He has not spoken. Such speakers are in great danger, “As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of [them].’” (Romans 2:24)

    Yes, Yahweh is our Abba, “Daddy,” but He is much more than just a cuddly old man.

    “Aslan is the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he IS good.” (C.S. Lewis in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)
    Thanx for a great blog and good instructions on “hearing!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know, my dear brother — I truly do experience Him speaking to my heart (not in audible words, but that sweet Spirit-to-spirit communication) every day. Not about dramatic things like election results, but about the concerns that matter in my every day living. Like, right now, my precious daughter is having some struggles that trouble my heart. And each time I spend time with Him, He speaks encouragement to my heart. Very specific messages that lift me up and give me strength to keep on walking forward, believing with quiet trust that He will have His way in this matter. Because He communicated to my heart that He will. This empowers me not to “throw away my confidence,” because He Himself gave it to me.

      And I love the Chronicles of Narnia! Such treasured memories reading them to this same daughter I am referring to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe it without question, though it is up to me to keep myself open and ready to listen. And it saddens me to think of the number of people who, whether they realize it or not, keep running from the experience for fear of what they might hear. “. . . for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anita and I just finished reading The Hobbit aloud, and will start on The Fellowship of the Ring in a couple weeks. Read them all in college, but always fun to visit Middle Earth, just as it is to visit Narnia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Listening” with our mouths can be something that is all too easily done. I know I catch myself eagerly waiting for my own turn to speak when others are talking instead of listening intently and paying attention to what they are saying. This sometimes creeps into conversations with God too.

    Liked by 1 person

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