Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening. –Emma Thompson
I think the majority of trouble we have in the world comes from simply not listening. When people talk, many times the one who is supposed to be listening, listens to a portion of what is said and then one of the following things occurs…they either pick up on a piece of the conversation and begin to form an idea or attitude around it, thus not listening in order to formulate what they want to say about it, or they assume they know what is being said and stop listening altogether.
Many problems come from people’s unwillingness to thoroughly listen. It is interpreted as disrespectful by the one speaking, and it is. When you begin to think of what you want to say, instead of giving the other person who is speaking full attention, your mind is on yourself and how important what you have to say is; That what you have to say is much more beneficial than the one speaking. It is selfish, prideful and disrespectful.
When you assume you know what is going to be said, you are basically communicating you have something you would much rather do than listen to that person speaking to you. You half way listen so you can then go and do what you want to do. Again, the root of this is selfishness and disrespect.
I do believe some people are not being selfish or arrogant, but just can have so much on their plate they don’t give full attention because of time constraints. No matter what the source of not listening may be, it all produces the same thing…problems!
According to Gloria Copeland‘s book, “Are You Listening?” hearken means to “give heed to; pay attention; TO HEAR WITH THE INTENT TO DO.” In Deuteronomy 28:1, it gives conditions for being blessed. It says, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:”
Some typical examples of people who didn’t listen or “hearken” to the voice of God and got into severe trouble are Adam and Eve, Jonah, and Job’s accusers. Because Adam and Eve didn’t obey God, they in essence disrespected Him and what He had said. They were told to not eat of the tree of knowledge, but did it anyway. When they refused to act on what God had said, they brought a curse upon all of mankind. Those are dire consequences of one type of not hearkening, or not listening!
Jonah is another. He heard what God said, but chose to ignore it. He did not listen to God’s heart for the people of Nineveh. He made up his own mind, no matter what God was saying, he was not going to Nineveh to preach a saving message to those people. He formed his opinion based on what he thought and felt. Again, as he disobeyed and disrespected God and what God had said, he almost got an entire shipload of people killed! He was cursed from disobedience and his companions were paying the price, too!
Job’s accusers are the ones who exasperate me the most! He told them repeatedly he had done nothing to incur the horror that had befallen him, yet they accused him for almost 40 chapters and never acknowledged one word Job said. They knew it all, they didn’t have to listen. His circumstances spoke for itself! God’s idea on this…unless Job prayed for mercy for them, God was going to kill all of his accusers…death is a pretty dire consequence!!
We see from these examples how important listening is and what listening entails. Listening is to hear someone all the way through, and hear with not only your ears, but with your heart. Listening is not assuming as Eve did, it is not deciding your thought process is more important as Jonah did, and it is not refusing to hear because you know what you see as Job’s “friends” did.
There was a commercial years ago from a major fast food chain. It had a catchy song that said, “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us.” What was this company getting across to the customer? What you say is being listened to and respected. What you say will be what you get! If it wasn’t, the chain didn’t make you pay because it was their mess up. This trained the employees to listen to customers because if they didn’t it would cost them something! Today, most of the time, if I put in a special order I have learned to check it so I don’t waste a trip back to the store because people either are too busy or just don’t care about the customer’s satisfaction.
I have learned, that if I listen through and through, I will waste less time trying to correct what I should have “heard” in the first place. How far would we have progressed at a much faster rate if we listened and respected what God told us to do? I am the prime example of this! About six months ago God told me to make a move in business and to make it right then. I went to my husband and he asked for some time to pray on it. We learned the hard way when God tells you to do something, you don’t have to pray about it or sleep on it…you have your answer, what is there to pray about? God has already given direction and spoken. Praise God for renewed mercy and grace!!
We waited and finally we decided to go ahead with it. When we did we found out we had missed a very large and lucrative window of opportunity. We didn’t listen and we didn’t respect what God told us. I had to repent, and so did my husband. We plead the blood over the sin of disobedience and procrastination and God gave us grace and opened another window for us. This time we didn’t hesitate on what He told us to do. God’s formula for victory in life is to HEAR and DO! It is as important to act on what He tells you as it is to listen!
God is talking all the time. It is important we don’t think we know a better way, or we assume we know what He means and only listen to a point then jump into something with both feet, only to find out we jumped into a mess and have to spend extra time and energy to correct it. It is important we get and stay quiet before God and not only listen to what He says, but to listen to what is in His heart and obey all He says!
Write down the things God speaks to you during your prayer time. He will encourage you, give you promises, and give you direction. Later, when you need to recall something you have it and there can be no misunderstandings or “missed opportunities” to jump into His greater blessings instead of our own self-made greater messes!!
God bless you, precious reader! I am so glad you stopped by!! I will see you, again soon!
Today I have a special guest blogger with me! I am so excited to introduce you to her. Renesha goes to my church and is a precious and mighty woman of God! It is my great pleasure to have her today! You will enjoy her post, I am sure!! Blessings, Juliana
By Renesha Chambers
Just the sound of the word strikes fear into hearts.
But is there a purpose for adversity? Can it be described in terms other than unexpected, horrific, and confusing?
I believe it can. Adversity originates from one of three sources: God, Self, and Satan. Each of these warrants a discussion of its own, but let’s focus on God-induced, MERCIFUL adversity today.
You probably stopped right there at God-induced and thought I was off my rocker. It is true. God does allow adversity to enter our lives. He can even create circumstances that we must endure in order to achieve His greater glory.
Let’s examine Jonah. God gave Jonah a task. Jonah ran from this task. God could have very easily “smote” Jonah right then and there, but he had MERCY on his servant, and created a Shamu-sized chunk of adversity to get His attention.
Jonah 1:4 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea and a violent storm arose and nearly broke up the ship.”
Jonah 1:17 “The Lord created a great fish to swallow Jonah and he was inside the fish three days and three nights.”
If it wasn’t for the storm and the great fish, Jonah would not have reached the city of Nineveh for Christ. God helped Jonah get his priorities realigned in the form of the “Whale Hotel.” If being swallowed by a great fish is not adversity, than what is?
The Lord had to put Joseph in a situation that no one would ever want to endure. He was sold by his own brothers and imprisoned unjustly. As a result of this situation, he was ultimately a powerful ruler and saved his own family through the years of famine. I’m sure if you tried to deprive Joseph of his painful heritage, he would fight you for it. He would even give thanks for his adverse young adulthood. In Joseph, the word of the Lord was “tested like silver, tried in a furnace…purified seven times.” (Psalms 12:6) The Lord’s merciful adversity made Joseph a mighty man of God.
Daniel also faced adversity that we have never encountered. When is the last time you were thrown in a cavern of lions licking their chops? This situation resulted in God’s supernatural power being revealed to all. The Lord shut the mouths of the lions and when Daniel was released, the king was overjoyed.
Daniel 6:23 “And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
So, next time trouble comes your way, ask the Lord, “What are you trying to teach me? How can this problem improve my relationship with You? How will this trial help me to love, assist, and encourage others?”
For after all, without a trial, there is no triumph, and without the valley, there would be no mountaintop to dance upon.
EVERYDAYISSWEETER/Renesha Chambers is “Momma” to two beautiful miracle girls, Sydney and Christa. When not changing a diaper, leading worship for her church, or riding a Harley, she is busy blogging or watching old movies with her husband, Chris, the love of her life.