It is so frustrating to speak and have no one move! Typically, my children respond by yelling “we hear you mom” while comfortably sitting carrying on with whatever they were doing. Hearing without action is incomplete. My response to God is usually incomplete when his words produce no action or movement. I found it interesting that the word “listen” in Hebrew is “shema.” This word “shema” also means more than hearing words. It means to listen, hear, pay attention to as well as obey. In Hebrew, during the time of Jesus and possibly now when you are spoken to by an elder, you are expected to “shema” listen and obey. This understanding of the word “listen” is also true in the Nigerian culture where you are expected to obey the instructions of an elder.
In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” This means God spoke back then and he is still speaking now. Do you “shema” him? You don’t want to be too busy to hear and obey his voice. You may wonder if God has ever spoken to you. Wonder no more because I can assure you that he has and continues to do so. There are so many ways God communicates with us. I encourage you to get quiet and go on a quest of discovery with him.
Four ways God can speak:
- Through the Bible. Prayerfully spend time reading the Bible. We make time for the things we want to do so make time to read his Word.
- Through people. The people with whom we surround ourselves matter. I become like my friends.
- Through dreams and visions. The Bible is filled with individuals who heard from God this way (see Joel 2:28). You must remain deeply in the Word of God to keep from deception. It is easy to want something so badly you see it.
- Through music. Music is so powerful in the way it cuts through the mess.
Now that you hear the voice of God, what will you do? Real listening takes effort and requires action.