We see evidence of God’s presence everywhere we turn, and we hear His voice all around us, too. Trouble is, we allow the things of this world to drown His voice. He would have us stay in tune with us—like listening to a radio without static—so we can hear His instructions for us, His encouragement during our hard times, and His joy in us.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
When I owned a pup, I couldn’t help but laugh at how she used her ears. She didn’t enjoy riding in the car, so whenever I said the word ride, or drive, she either looked the other way or sat still while ignoring me. Conversely, when I quietly opened the wrapping of her favorite treat, she appeared in seconds from fifty feet away.
I’ve read of wives making gentle fun of their husbands’ selective hearing, too. They rarely ignore the call to dinner. But say the words “Clean the garage” or “Time to visit my parents,” and they pretend deafness.
In my advancing years, I truly am experiencing some hearing loss. I miss what others are saying when in a crowd of people. I need the television turned up more than I used to. Yet, sometimes the music in church is so loud for my ears, I leave the room. Go figure. Selective hearing? Perhaps more a case of irregular hearing.
Sometimes I purposely close my ears to God. If I’m spending too much time on Facebook or watching a silly television program and know I should be praying for a certain situation, I have closed my ears to His silent nudging. If I’m stuffing my mouth with sugar-laden snacks, knowing they can harm my body, I’m not listening to God’s voice but my own. If I’m teaching a Bible study, I seem to hear His voice clearly—until I finish the study. Then I return to the same old habit of listening to other voices.
Many voices clamor to be heard. One is the voice of reason. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if we’re told we have stage 4 cancer, we’ll die? Yet as important as reason is, faith trumps it—or triumphs over it—many times. We hear of miraculous healings everywhere.
Another voice often heard is that of discouragement. The Bible is filled with examples of God’s people ready to cave in to failure. His Word, rather, gives us reasons not to fear or lose hope. When Joshua took over Moses’ role as leader of over a million people, many who complained, God spoke life-giving words to him. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Can we find any better words to listen to?
Lord, keep our ears attuned to Your voice so we won’t be tempted to listen to the unreliable or unproductive voices of others. Help us remember that Your voice is powerful, meant for our good and our growth. In Jesus’ name, amen.