In the early 2000’s I became a NASCAR fan. I had watched several races with some friends and fell in love with the strategies involved in winning a race. After watching several races, my friend told me I needed to pick a driver and a team. I decided I like the number 16 Roush-Fenway Ford driven by Greg Biffle. A while later we got tickets to a race weekend and enjoyed the spectacle that was put on. They said Biffle was going to sign autographs on race day, but you had to get there early to get tickets. Traffic prevented that. I watched him sign autographs with several others who didn’t get tickets. I then positioned myself behind the trailer he was signing in. When he came out, I was the only one back there. He signed my hat, got in his golf cart and drove away. None of those other spectators got his autograph because they stayed out front.
1 Samuel 3:1-3 says, “The word of the LORD was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place…and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was” (AMP). I love this story because it points out a truth we so often miss. Eli stayed in his own place and Samuel was staying in the sanctuary. Samuel knew where the presence of God was at the time, and he positioned himself to hear from Him. When God spoke to Samuel, it took Eli a while to understand what was going on because he had been more concerned about his own comfort than hearing from God. He was waiting for God to come to him instead of positioning himself close to God.
James 4:8 tell us, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT). There are many times when I wonder where God is and why I haven’t heard from Him. I think we all go through that. Instead of questioning where God is, I’ve learned to question where I am. Have I positioned myself to hear from Him? Am I doing things that draw me closer to Him or am I just sitting around waiting on Him? If it’s been a while since you’ve heard from God, look at where you’ve positioned yourself. Are you in a quiet place in silence waiting on Him? Are you spending time digesting Scripture? God has promised to draw close to us after we draw close to Him. Think back to the things you were doing when you felt His presence most. Are you doing those things still? If so, have they become routine? God’s desire is to meet with us and to speak with us. We must be willing to get in a position and place to hear from Him though.
Have you ever been talking with someone and your thoughts took over to wear you quit listening to them? I mean, you can be looking them dead in the eye and not hear a word they say. It’s one of the things I have to constantly fight against. Staying engaged in a conversation can be hard work sometimes. When my mind wanders off, and I tune them out, I have to tell myself, “Stop! Listen! Pay attention. You can figure this out later.” In order to pay attention and to listen, I have to work on it at times. Hearing is passive, but listening requires action.
You and i are to listen to God’s voice. He’s always speaking to us, but we aren’t always listening. That’s why having a quiet time is so important. A quiet time is where you get alone, calm your thoughts and listen for God’s voice. It takes discipline because we are constantly on the go and have a culture that ranks busyness with godliness. However, even Jesus took time to go be alone with God so He could listen to what the Father was saying to Him. If Jesus needed to take time to listen to the Father, how much more do we? If you’re not in the habit of listening for God’s voice, start with a five minute quiet time and then work your way up. When you start listening to what God says and start applying it, your life will change.
Here are some Bible verses on listening to God.
1. “O that my people would once and for all listen to me and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways. Then and only then will I conquer your every foe and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’”
Psalms 81:13-14 TPT
2. Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!
James 1:22 TPT
3. God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.
Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG
4. Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock.
Luke 6:47-48 AMP
5. Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God.