Daily Devotional – 4/27/12 “You hear but are you listening?”

“I know you hear me talking but are you actually listening?” God is saying go but we are still standing still. God is saying jump but we are still holding on to the ledge. God is saying let it go but we are still holding on to the rope. God is saying let them go but we keep begging them back. God is saying accept the pink slip but we are fighting against it. God is saying listen to the doctor but we are too stubborn to hear. God is saying trust me but we have our ears clouded with worry. Why do you go before the Father for his guidance if you aren’t listening? God asks in Matthew 11:15 (Message Bible) “Are you listening to me? Really listening?” I know you thought there wasn’t a difference in the two but there is. To hear is defined as understanding fully by listening attentively and listening is defined as to concentrate on hearing somebody or something. See, in order to fully understand you have to actually listen and not just hear. It’s like when your mom is talking but you really don’t want to hear what she has to say but when she asks did you hear me and you say yes, you really did but you didn’t listen. Now, after you’ve gone and done the thing or things that she was trying to tell you about, you have to come back to her with your head down and admit your defeat. See, when you are being told something, that’s for your good, you may act like you don’t hear it but it’ll remain in the back of your head. Like when daddy told you that girl that was hanging around was meaning you no good, you heard him but you didn’t listen and when she started showing up on your job acting foolish, busting the windows out your car, slashing your tires and blowing up your phone in the middle of the night; you wish like Heaven you would have listened. When momma told you that boy was the right one for you, you didn’t listen so you treated him like dirt and walked all over him, now he’s married with a family, nice car, house and career and you’re still living at her home begging the courts to increase the child support on your 2 baby daddies. Baby, you better hear and listen.

Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” This is why I tell my kids, nieces and nephews that they need to listen to the wisdom of my grandparents while they have a chance because although they make think times have changed and it’s not like it used to be when they were going through, it is. I know the struggles that my grandparents, momma and uncles went through growing up, so I listen to them for Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” See, wisdom is learned by the tests you overcome, the mistakes you learn from, the obstacles you climbed over and the times you fallen but got back up. Wisdom can’t be bought from a store shelf or even ordered from your favorite online store, but it can be shared. Proverbs 3:13-14 says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” Once you have wisdom, it can’t be taken away because with your wisdom comes knowledge, with knowledge comes understanding and once you have a complete understanding you no longer make the same mistakes you use too. It’s like buying a computer desk and you heard the salesman say you would need the instruction inside the box but you didn’t listen so you threw them out. If the people who made the desk actually thought you could do it with just the picture on the box, they never would have included the instructions but because they’ve been through this before, they’ve gained wisdom and they now acknowledge that in order for you to understand, you need the instructions so they put them in the box. Now, you’ve made 30 mistakes and started over 5 times because although you heard, you didn’t listen.

When God is speaking to you, don’t just hear what he is saying but listen. If you have 15 things going through your mind while God is trying to talk to you, you will hear him but you won’t actually listen. Then you go off and fall, because although you heard God speak you realize that you didn’t listen. You heard God say move and you up and quit your job but you didn’t listen because he said move to the other department because your breakthrough is there. You heard God say divorce and you put your spouse out but you didn’t listen because he said divorce the messy friends so that your marriage can blossom. You heard God say death and now you’ve stopped all your chemo and dialysis but you didn’t listen because he said this disease is death to all the bad things in your body but in the end you’ll live. You heard God say walk over and now you’re walking over everybody in your life when you should have listened because he said walk over the coals in the fire because I’ve placed people around you that won’t let you get burned. You heard God say jump and you jump into the arms of the first woman/man you see when you should have listened because he was saying jump out the way because your enemy is coming. Baby, you’d better start listening because what you’re hearing isn’t what God is saying then you cry that God has forsaken you. No, he hasn’t, you just aren’t listening. Don’t you know that when you fully listen to God you get understanding which clears your mind of ungodly stuff? Then once your mind is clear you can fully hear what is being told to you from others. A coworker and I were talking this morning about this very subject and she made a great point to me. See, when she was going through a divorce she was always fighting with her ex about taking care of his child and she couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t ever give her what she asked for but then as she begin listening to God and her mind cleared she was able to actually listen to what he had been saying all along which was I’ll do whatever my daughter ask of me. He never said he wouldn’t take care of his child but he said he wanted her to ask for what she needed because she was old enough to know and understand her needs. Isn’t that something?

Stop talking so much and listen. Stop just hearing and listen. Stop getting ahead of yourself before you listen to what is being said in its entirety. Haven’t you seen the game shows where someone would buzz in before the question was completely asked and then they’d get the answer wrong because the question wasn’t what they thought it was? When, had they listened they would have known. Stop rushing to do something before you know what the instructions are. Stop rushing to grow up so that you don’t have to listen to your parent’s rules because once you’re grown you’d wish a thousand times to be back home. Stop rushing to get your work done and listen to what your boss had to say because once the mistake is made, you are the only one to blame. Stop and listen and your list of mistakes may get shorter. Job 28:23-28 (Message Bible) says “God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to find it. He knows where everything is on earth, he sees everything under heaven. After he commanded the winds to blow and measured out the waters, Arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning, He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready. Then he addressed the human race: ‘Here it is! Fear-of-the-Lord—that’s Wisdom and Insight means shunning evil.”