Moses: Are We Listening?
Moses heard the voice of God after he learned solitude and silence in Midian as a shepherd. He escaped Pharaoh after killing a man who was abusing his people and entered the desert for 40 years. In the silence and solitude of his life as a shepherd, God spoke.
Moses was not perfect. He was afraid and full of excuses. Nevertheless, he listened, and he obeyed.
Listening is hard. It is often far easier to speak.
It is interested how the words listen and obey are tightly connected. Not only can we not obey if we are not listening, but we sometimes use the word listen to mean the act of listening then obeying.
Have you ever asked your child, “why aren’t you listening to me?” when you know they heard you but have not yet done what you asked?
Listening to God means more than simple hearing, it means both listening and obeying. How do we obey if we do not first hear? How do we hear the still, small voice of God if our lives are full of noise and activity?
This week, we challenged the 1st-4th grade children to consider how well they can hear and follow instruction in the midst of noise. Through a hands-on activity, they experienced the difference between listening in noise and listening in silence. We then challenged the kids to set aside time each week to be silent with the Lord. They can pray, or they can simply be silent with God, asking Him to teach them to listen and pray.
For many, silence can be hard to find. This is true for me. Perhaps it is true for you. Or perhaps, silence is readily available to you but quite painful – a thing to be avoided. Either way, silence and solitude are difficult disciplines for most people – difficult, but important.
God is speaking. Are we listening?
When we read the Holy Scriptures, do we take the time to meditate on what we read? To pray and ask God to teach us?
When we pray, do we go through our prayer list, speaking nonstop and using filler prayer phrases to avoid sitting in silence?
When someone else is talking to us, do we consider the conversation a divine appointment and give our whole selves to the act of listening?
Do we fill our lives with so many activities that silence seems an impossibility?
Do we live in a posture of listening surrender or one of hurried control?
God is speaking, but chances are He is not shouting. If we are to hear Him, we must listen. To listen, we must stop talking. We must stop acting. We must slow down.
This week, plan some time for silence. If this is not possible, look for the opportunities for silence as they occur and take advantage of them. This week, try slowing down. Try trusting God rather than rushing around trying to take care of it all by yourself.
God is speaking, and the good news is you do not have to be perfect to hear Him. Come as you are. Listen at His feet.
He will teach you.