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Listening to God in a buzzy world

ListeningEarNetwork Norfolk columnist Ruth Tong offers some encouragement and advice on how to really listen to God, even when we are bombarded by so many other things vying for our attention.

There’s a scene in Bruce Almighty, where Bruce can hear the sound of all the prayers being prayed at any one moment all around the world and it’s deafening. So varied are the languages, so different the types of prayers, all mushed in together it’s like a buzz. 

Life can feel so bombarded with things vying for our attention it’s like we can’t hear or prioritise any one thing clearly. Most of us really do need and want to be able to hear the voice of the Father and without a doubt He has much to say, yet in an increasingly ‘buzzy’ world it can be hard.

Praise God He is not limited in any way and hears clearly each voice attending to it with His gracious truth and love, but for us hearing takes effort. Listening requires humility, it requires us to turn down the buzz of our own agenda and give our attention fully to what is being said. It also requires the patience not to interrupt, but to wait for a full account, to reflect, measure and weigh what’s been said. In some senses listening is the external bit and hearing is the act of taking in, making sense of what’s been communicated so we are different as a result. In Rom 12:2 it says we are to be transformed day by day by the renewing of our minds but this process can only occur if we are open to hear.

Mathew 13:13-17, cautions us not to get so comfortable in the little box of our own world that our hearing is dulled. It elaborates, that there are those who want a one way relationship with God, so their ears are stopped up and their eyes are screwed shut!

I have to confess there are times in my life when I blatantly knew I was doing wrong but clapped my hands over my lugholes and carried on in sin - only to come a cropper down the line and have to stand before the one who didn’t come to condemn me but bring me life and eat a slice of humble pie while He bathed the cuts and bruises of my own making.

Listening is a good thing it goes on to say in verses 16&17:  ‘blessed are you lot who set your hearts to hear, other’s would give their eye teeth to be able to access what you can, it’s a treasure’! (My paraphrase) Guys we have what generations before didn’t have – a record of the actual words of Christ in the Bible, the Holy Spirit, other saints…

Let’s get hungry for hearing and be assured God has much to say!
  • Ask God to speak; He is a gentleman and will never yell…
  • Plan 10 minutes today to simply sit in silence with God (I’ve found a lit candle helps me to focus)
  • Take a verse of scripture and ponder on it/repeat it, write down on a note pad what comes to mind.
Happy hearing

Ruth x

Ruth Tong is the Coordinator of Women’s Ministries at Downham Market Christian Fellowship and the author of ‘Love Drops from Heaven’.  Ruth regularly blogs at http://lovedropsfromheaven.blogspot.co.uk.

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