Listen…. When I hear that word my first thought is this little boy arguing with his mom in a viral video on Youtube, “Listen Linda, Listen”… I have watched it over and over. It cracks me up most of the time. The only problem is this little boy at other times makes me cringe because it reminds me of me with God.
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) Quick to listen… a NIV Bible search reveals the word listen (not including other forms of it) appears 412 times! Be quick to listen…. too many times I am the little boy in the video telling God what I think, and letting Him know how things are, or should be instead of listening for what He says, and waiting for Him to guide me. I keep repeating myself, wanting to make sure my piece is heard, so God will be convinced of how good my idea or plan is, or wanting Him to bless the endeavor I already started on His behalf… “Listen Linda…”
Who am I listening to? Who has my focus? Is it my inner dialogue or the voices all around me, or am I being quick to settle my soul so I can hear God’s still small voice? The prophet Elijah had trouble hearing above his own dialogue during a stressful time in his life. His story reminds me of how easy it is to go from fully listening and obeying to being overwhelmed and ready to quit because the voices around us and in us are so loud. His story also reminds me of how important it is to be still to hear God’s voice.
In the narrative of Elijah, God brings Elijah up to a cave on a mountain to speak to him. First a violent wind appeared but God was not in the powerful wind, then an earthquake, and lastly a fire that did not have God’s voice. Finally a still small voice comes after all these loud, dramatic events, Elijah hears God. He is ready to listen. His soul is settled and he hears the small voice, other translations say a soft whisper. I say I want God to thunder out His voice to me, but He is found in the stillness and peace where He knows we can listen better and know who He is. (I Kings 19)
“Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Some literal translations say, “Stop thrashing about” and know… God is patient and waits us out. He lets us declare as many “listen Lindas” as we need, and when we are ready to be still and settle our soul, He will speak. He will not compete for our attention, but He makes it known that He is always available. Oh how I long to be “quick to listen,” so that I might hear the whispers of God.
* I am joining Five Minute Fridays in a 31 day Writing Challenge. Each day I will be writing on a different word prompt for at least 5 minutes for the month of October.
**Check out 2018’s 31 Day Writing Challenge https://inkblotlife.com/category/write-31-days-2018/