Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Calls Us"1 (Lyrics)
"Many car owners just don't listen to their cars. If they did, they could prevent a lot of damage."
This was said by an experienced mechanic. He's convinced that if owners paid more attention to their vehicle sounds, they'd be quicker to recognize problems. He said, "They'd catch subtle changes. They'd know where it's coming from, what it's related to, or what other factors are going on."
The mechanic's insight challenges me to consider my own hearing habits — not just for cars, but for people, too. I appreciate it when others truly hear me. They listen attentively. They can sense what troubles me. They're not quick to interrupt with their own thoughts. They don't form hasty opinions or judgments. Instead, they take time to understand me. If they're not sure that they heard right, they ask questions. That's how they get to know me. That's the kind of listener I wish to be. Good hearing, after all, is a way to "love thy neighbour":
James 1:19b – Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (NIV)
Careful listening habits help us to know what's going on around us. In the mechanic's words, that's how we "catch subtle changes, know where it's coming from, what it's related to, or what other factors are going on." Good hearing habits help us to know how to think, speak, and act, or in other words, how to live. Good hearing helps us to gain wisdom.
The mechanic added, "People have become reliant on mechanics to figure it out for them." So true! We rely on all kinds of experts to figure out all kinds of things for us. So, we don't see a need to turn off the blaring "radio noise" … and just listen … to notice … to detect what matters … including the still small voice of God.
Isaiah 55:3a – Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (NIV)
Luke 8:18a – Consider carefully how you listen. (NIV) [Do you hear with sensitivity and attentiveness?]
John 10:27a – [Jesus said,] "My sheep listen to my voice." (NIV)
Hebrews 2:1 – We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (NIV)
Revelation 3:20b – [Jesus said,] "If anyone hears my voice [is spiritually attentive] and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (NIV)
These Scriptures may cause us to wonder how well we're hearing God, whether we've come to rely on the "experts", or whether our hearing is dulled by the drone of empty "noise". The good news is that we can approach God directly with our concern — in response to God's own invitation relayed through the prophet:
Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (NIV)
Prayer: O Lord, awaken and fine-tune our spiritual receptors, that we may learn from You, know You better, and become sensitized to the great and unsearchable things that You promised. Amen.