Saturday, October 27, 2012


by Tim Howard

While growing up did you ever hear your parents or guardians say: “Do you think I’m talking to hear myself talk?” I sure did, on many occasions! The statement was voiced in the form of a question but when I tried to answer, I was told to be quiet…in not so many words. Now that I have more understanding, I realize they were making a statement and not asking for my opinion. They wanted me to “Listen”

God listens to us when we speak. Isn’t that amazing? He has called us into relationship: we speak and He listens; He speaks and we listen. This may seem obvious to some but this is the difference between Christianity and religion.

Christianity is a relationship! God calls us into a love relationship where we converse with him. It’s more than a monologue - It’s a dialogue! Religion on the other hand is about following the rules rather than cultivating a relationship. Go to church for an hour or so a week, read a few chapters in the Bible, do a daily devotional and make sure you do a couple of good deeds.  As good as these things are, God wants to have more. He desires a conversational relationship with you!  You speak and He listens.  He speaks and you listen.

God hears everything! You may say something in private like a politician but discover later that someone taped your words and everyone heard what you said. Even when you think no one heard, God hears.

God even hears what you say when you don’t say anything. After all, you don’t need words to speak. Sometimes your body language, your facial expressions and your actions speak volumes without the utterance of one word.

God hears everything you say even when you can’t hear him. If you ever pray to God in his Son’s name, and feel like no one is listening you need to know, he does hear. That’s one reason King David loved God. He said:  “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. “Psalm 116:1-2. I couldn’t agree more.

Since God created us in him image and since he listens to us, doesn’t it make sense that we should listen to him?

The word “listen” and its derivatives are used 338 times in the NIV Bible.  The word “hear” and its derivatives are used 982 times.  There is a lot of talking and listening going on in the Bible!  Interestingly the most common use of the word “listen” in the Bible is God telling us to listen. 

God speaks to us in a variety of ways, so whom should we listen to?

If you are a married man, I would suggest you listen to your wife. God speaks to us through people and he can use your mate to shape, adjust or encourage you. God speaks through experiences and circumstances. When something out of the ordinary happens to you don’t dismiss it as an aberration. God might be trying to get your attention because he wants to change something or strengthen something. Your conscience is another authority in your life. If it has been trained properly and you listen to it, your steps will be guarded from many stumbles.

Francis Scheaffer wrote a book called “He is there and He is not silent.”  He isn’t talking just to hear himself talk. I encourage you to “listen”

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