In a recent Stephen Ministry class I taught for the Stephen Ministry Network, the material for the lesson asked the question; “Have you ever wondered what God does in His heavens? What does the omnipotent, almighty timeless King of the Universe do with His time?” Then for a few minutes of time the material went on to scripturally support the idea that God is listening. While I believe He is a very active God doing many things both in heaven and on earth, I have no doubt that He is listening. He listens to all of his creation. He listens to his children’s laughter as well as their cries for help. He listens to our pleas for those we love, our concerns about our needs and our hopes for our desires. He is also listening to those who do not belong to Him at this time. He hears all things. He hears the praise sang by the birds, the applause of the trees and the wonder of the animals around the world. He is always listening. And for that I am grateful. I never have to worry if he heard me, or is available – for He is.
But, what about me? What about us? Can we say the same? Sure we are listening – but to what? My ears are filled with the things of this world, fighting around the world, politicians bragging about their wisdom in how to make America great again, debates and arguments over police conduct. We are listening to the exciting things happening at schools, teenage drama and the kids bickering once again. We listen to the cries of our loved ones, and care for the pain of our friends. MOST of what we listen to, I suspect, is important. But, like the sirens going down the street at this moment, each and every thing screams demanding our attention. And unlike God, we can’t listen to all things at all times. So we must prioritize. And – this will come of no surprise, God has to be given first place in our listening, or nothing makes sense.
I love the Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Be still – that doesn’t just mean stop talking. Thought it does mean that – stop asking, stop begging, stop bargaining with God. Listen to him. The verse also means stop listening to all of the outside distractions that will take our attention away from Him. Shhh… hush…be still. God is trying to get our attention. But we are distracted by so many things. Like Martha: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 Listen – Martha was not a bad person at all. She had opened her home to Jesus, she loved Him and wanted to serve Him and make everything perfect for Him. She wasn’t a bad or sinful person. She was just distracted by what she thought she needed to be doing. We are distracted with the many things that have to be done, but we need to choose the better, like Mary. God is trying to get our attention; He has something to tell us. And in order to hear it, we must be still, we must rest in Him. We must give him our undivided attention. Then in the quiet, while WE are the ones listening, God can and will speak. Shhh…hush…be still. Are you listening?