The Power of Listening: Engaging with God’s Word

Nehemiah 8:3b
...and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

Oh my, what have we here; an attentive people? Hmmm, that’s strange. You don’t see that much anymore! As a matter of fact, Amos 8:11 prophesies, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” Trust me when I tell you that it is a rare thing to find a Christian totally dedicated to HEARING the Word of God.

To hear is not just to bounce sound waves off of your ear drums. It is to receive the message into your heart and spirit, and to allow the Spirit of God to quicken your spirit through God’s Word! How many people listen to the Word of God being preached or taught every Sunday, but very seldom HEAR what was said.

Dear children of God, it is imperative that we not only listen to, but that we hear and receive God’s Word. Titus 1:14 spoke of a people that would “turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” That is why it is so important for you to THANK GOD if you have a man of God in your life that will speak truth to you regardless of whether or not it is popular or politically correct.

Jesus said that truth is so powerful that when we KNOW the truth, it shall make us free. Why then do we run from truth? I assure you that bondage to a pack of lies cannot, nor ever will be, better than freedom from those lies. However, being as it may, still many choose rather to live in darkness than to be illuminated in the light of God’s glorious Word.

Paul asked the church of Galatia, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Every pastor with any backbone whatsoever understands this question all too well. It is crazy how wildly people will fight the very ones trying to loose them and let them go.

Here’s a word of advice for new born babes in Christ; be attentive, be willing to listen more than you speak, and be able to receive truth-based constructive criticism from your peers. If you can come to this kind of maturity, then you will be able to grow as tall and strong as God wants you to. It is when we get stubborn and rebellious that pride swells us up so badly that we are rendered useless for God’s Kingdom and glory. Do not be so; listen to God’s Word, HEAR it, and live!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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