Last week in a meeting, somebody asked if I was praying or listening. This person clearly knows me very well. He knows that I like to talk a lot, share jokes, talk about how I feel, or just blurt out anything that comes to mind. At that moment I just smiled. I didn’t know what to say because he was right, I do talk a lot. I thought I was doing a good job listening until I thought about it more. I became aware that most of my prayers start and finish with me telling God what I want or how I feel. I realized I rarely stop to listen to Him.
I am struggling with decisions that I need to make. Many times, I have felt that I knew what I needed to do but was full of fears. Fear is a word that has been in my life for a long time. I fear I will make the wrong choice, I fear I will do or say the wrong thing, and I fear doing something new because I’m comfortable right where I am with the people I am with. I’m scared of being alone, and there are so many other things that I fear, but the reality is that I need to let go of those fears and start trusting the Lord. I need to stop asking and start listening to what God has to tell me. If I would just stop talking and let Him speak, the decisions making process would be so much easier.
I am a child of God. He takes care of me and protects me. He provides a way for me. I find it funny that one of the first verses we learn as children is Joshua 1:9 (Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go). Many of us know what it says because we learned it in Sunday school, but knowing what it says, doesn’t make it easy to live out. Many times, we forget that God is with us; we forget that we need to be strong and keep trusting in Him, even when it looks like He is not there. We need to stop asking and start listening. He might have already given us a solution to whatever it is taking away our joy, but we still can’t hear God, because we keep talking and talking.
It is my desire to learn to let go and make listening a lifestyle. Listen before speaking, listen before doing, listen before everything I do to make sure that I know what the Lord wants and that it is not based on what I want. The key for life is to let go of our desires and listen to what God wants.
Let’s all take the challenge and make listening to God a lifestyle!