Are You Listening To ME?

Are You Listening To ME?

There is nothing quite as annoying as sharing a life-experience story; you are verbally setting up the ending, the punch line, the grand finale, hopeful to relish in the reaction from the group, only to have a zealous over-talker jump in before you even finish your thought!


Has this ever happened to you? How did that make you feel? If you are like me, it totally turned you off; it invalidated your spoken engagement with the group. Your story just got cut off and you had the same feeling you get when you are in traffic, and some rude driver cuts you off.


I have to admit, I used to be one of those rude conversation usurpers! To be honest, I still need to guard my tongue, or I easily revert to those verbal assault tactics.


God had to do a great deal of work in me in order for me to see this glaring fault in myself; others saw it, but were kind enough to put up with it, allowing me to interrupt, cutting front of other oral traffic.


I have often pondered why I felt the need to “jump in” to a conversation before letting the person finish. God revealed the answer; I was full of myself and wanted to be important, I was self-absorbed! Ouch!


Once God began to reveal to me how disrupting this was, I found that my listening skills began to improve, and I began to notice how often this “verbal road rage” was taking place.


To illustrate this phenomenon, consider a small group of men chatting about their hunting exploits. Invariably, one man will begin sharing his best hunting story, the other men are already thinking of their own legend, one that will outdo the current narrative. 


Just like the driver who is rushing home after work is looking for that minuscule opening to dart in front, so does the verbal jouster look for his opening, a breath, a pause in a sentence; then wham, they jump in and full throttle ahead!


When this takes place, it reveals the selfishness of that person and the inherent need of an ego boost. It is rare that someone actually learns how to listen more than talk.


The one, who can master their tongue, will gain the confidence and respect they never could have, by jumping in, and jumping on, other conversations.


The Bible says . . . “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak …” (James 1:19)


Now those are words to live by. Someone once said; “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we talk.”


Are you listening?





Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Family, Humility, Trust, 0 comments
Hearing the Voice of God

Hearing the Voice of God

1 Kings 19:9-13

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


The voice that Elijah heard was a rather quiet voice; a gentle whisper. Most of us would rather that God would yell; but do you really want God to yell at you?


Most conversations that I have with my wife Sherri are very gentle; we do not need to yell to one another in order to be heard. Now to be sure, I can be dull sometimes and on a rare occasion, be hard of hearing; in which case Sherri may need to turn up the volume so I can hear her over my own internal noise!


There are those occasions while driving that I tend to be day-dreaming and Sherri may need to shout to get my attention; I can’t tell you how many times a disaster has been avoided because she shouted words of caution.


God works pretty much the same way. Most conversations are intimate and easily understood; a gentle whisper; after all, He is living in me, so He should not need to yell at me!


However, if I am running headlong into some moral danger or temptation of some sort, God will turn up the volume and get my attention!


One of the most amazing things that God has done for us is to preserve His most treasured words in the form of a Book we can read; we call it the Bible.


While it does not contain everything God ever said, nor does it contain every act that God has done, it does have everything we need to know about Him until we meet Him face to Face.


As a small child, one of the most cherished times took place when I visited my grandma. She would break out a children’s book, and I would curl up next to her and she would read to me.


I would drink in every word; my emotions would rise and fall with every inflection in her voice and I would be totally enthralled as she excitedly read the book to me.


The next time you open up the Bible to read; ask God to read it to you! Let Him be the voice you hear as the words tumble off the pages! Let His joy be felt as He tells of the great exploits that those of faith did in His great name!


Listen to the sadness in His voice as He recalls those times that people He loved turned and walked away. Hear the fiery indignation as He recounts how he dealt with His enemies and hear the sweetness as He shares a love story in the Song of Solomon!


Hear the hopefulness in His voice as He shares the great Gospel message of Hope found through His Son; hear the pride in His voice as He thunders from Heaven; “This is My Son. . . In Him I am Well Pleased.”  Hear the excitement in His voice as He describes the Day when He is finally united with His bride!


God uses everything at His disposal to speak to His children; He can yell; but He chooses to whisper. He can shout, but He would rather talk across the table with you. He would love to sit down with you and read to you the words preserved for us.


If you will develop your relationship with God, then you will begin to say things like; “The Lord told me . . . or The Lord said to me . . .” It will be as natural to you as talking to your spouse or close friend. It may seem mysterious to those around you, but to you, as natural as breathing!


I remember talking to a dear friend and evangelist, Gene Vincent; Sherri and I met him at a prayer conference in Atlanta Georgia years ago. Gene has a close walk with God and during the course of a conversation at one of the tables; Gene was talking about hearing from God.


Someone at the table asked Gene; “Did you really hear God’s voice speak to you; was it audible?” Gene looked up and said; “Oh, it was louder than that!”


What Gene was trying to convey is that when God speaks to you, it is more than a sound; it is a deep sense of knowing, a deep down conviction, and an abiding awareness that God is communicating something to you. It is undeniable and sure!


Have you had a conversation with God . . . lately?



Posted by onthesolidrock in Faith, Humility, Thankfulness, Trust, 0 comments