Have you found yourself confused about what to believe? What is true and what is fabricated. The news seems to be opinionated instead of factual. Each side telling you what they want you to hear. We tend to look to social media to find folks that will say what we want to hear to support our point of view. We search to hear what will justify our worldview and actions. We begin to create our own truth just like Eve did in the garden. She listened to a voice in her ear that was not from God. The consequences still impact us today.
There is an old illustration that I find helpful:
A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.
Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”
His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”
“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said. “I heard a cricket.”
“That’s crazy,” said the friend.
The Native Americans listened carefully for a moment and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have super-human ears!”
“No,” said the Native American. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
“But that can’t be!” said the friend. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”
“Yes, that’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.”
He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and looked to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.
“See what I mean?” asked the Native American. “It all depends on what’s important to you…. what you are listening for!!!”
So… That story may hit a little too close to home!
What’s important to you? What do you listen for?
Who or what has your ear?
Do you listen to God’s truth and direction in your life?
Or…Do you listen and follow the latest Twitter or Facebook postings to see what others think is important…or do you seek your friends and co-workers’ values and opinions… Sports figures political, social, moral, and even spiritual views?
There is a lot of noise and distractions out there vying for your attention.
Maybe you feel that God does not talk to you? Perhaps you can’t see or hear him because you aren’t listening to him. Too many distractions. Too many other voices that we seek out. Who are you really listening to?
Matthew 13:15-16… Jesus said, “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them…But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear”
This verse comes from the parable of the sower section in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The seed (God’s Word) is sowed and yet life distracts some from receiving it and producing fruit. And yet verse 23 says…. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
What is God saying to you…what is He calling you to accomplish? What changes is He whispering in your ear to make? What life situations is He talking to you about? Whose name is He speaking to you about…wanting you to reach out to and minister to?
(msg)… “The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
We have many options on who / what to listen to. God challenges us to focus on His Words and His plans. A simple way to test if it is from God:
Philippians 4:8… Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things
Take time throughout the day to stop and listen to what God is telling you. Ask Him to speak to you. Pick a time and place that limits the other distractions and noise.
Be aware of other voices that you hear, and test them against Philippians 4:8 (above).
Limit you’re seeking out other distracting voices, opinions, and gossip masquerading as truth. (Jesus says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”)
Jesus knew the importance of doing this regularly….Mark 1:35… Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.