Are You Listening?

Something that I personally love and thrive in is variety. There is something about looking back on a day or week that was full of a variety of ups, downs, and new experiences. From lots of activity to low key and meaningful conversations. There is something that brings me to life when my days or weeks are full of new experiences and learnings. I think this is the case for a lot of people and then for others, they love to stick to a set routine and get into a rhythm of life.

My wife Haley and I have an almost 7-month-old son, Titus, whose smile lights up the room and people’s faces all over Puerto Escondido. It’s been such a great time getting to care for him and see him develop more and more each week. He is constantly changing and every week it seems like we find some new “trick” that he can do. With the pace that he is growing, I am expecting to walk into the house someday soon with Titus running around kicking a ball and speaking in full sentences! It’s kind of scary how much “new” there is with him every week, but with this newness, there is a lot of routine and need for a schedule that we stick to in order for him to sleep well.

With Haley and I living in a more set routine and giving a lot of our attention to helping Titus grow and develop the best he can, it has changed our lives, a lot more than I think both of us anticipated. It’s better than life before, but also very different. It has brought a different pace to life and during this time God has been so gracious to teach me a few things. He has been showing me just how important it is to hear His voice and to be in a place of surrender so that when He speaks, I don’t miss it.

How important is it to hear the Word of God? I’m beginning to believe that it is the most important thing in our walk of faith and relationship with our Heavenly Father. Hearing Him speak to us directly, through our friends, through Scripture, or through the Holy Spirit. His words give life and direction. If we find ourselves in a place of complacency, it is His word that stirs up a passion and devotion for Jesus. If we are hungry spiritually, it’s His word that satisfies and nourishes us. We see in the Bible all the way from Genesis 1:3 to Revelations how God’s word spoken to people is what brought drastic transformation to situations.

In Luke 8, Jesus says His word is like seed and that people ready to receive His word are like a field with prepared soil. That field soaks up the seed and produces a crop from what has been planted in it. How often does God speak to us and yet we don’t let it take root? How often is our field (our mind and spirit) not prepared to hear Him speak to us because we are not fully surrendered with our entire being?

God’s word is the most powerful thing we know of besides God Himself and it is through His word that all things were created. So how can we as humans quench God’s word when He speaks to us? Well, God has given us the choice to receive His word with gladness and obedience or to close ourselves off from hearing from Him.

In the first part of Mark 7, Jesus is talking to a group of people who thought themselves to be very religious and yet did not care for others, and He points out to them how they were valuing their own ways of tradition over God’s Word. “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” (Mark 7:13) It is through our traditions and trying to take control that we actually choke out the Word of God and render powerless the most powerful thing in the universe.

Over the past few months as the pace of life has changed for our family, I have been reminded of the necessity to be good soil that is ready to hear God speak. We can read the Bible and it might pass right over us if we are not in the right place to receive it. God can speak to us in a still quiet voice and completely change everything in our life but if we are not hungry to hear from Him we can miss out on the very answer that we are looking for, or better yet who it is we are looking for.

We all have different schedules and things to be done in our lives and if we aren’t moved by something of depth in God’s word it can just become routine and mundane, but the “same ol” routine never has to be mundane. When Gods speaks to us we are quickened from the inside out and when we hear from God, His words are what give us direction and purpose.

“God’s will for you is that when you get up in the morning, you don’t drift aimlessly through the day letting mere circumstances alone dictate what you do, but that you aim at something – that you focus on a certain kind of purpose. Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness. “ – Unknown

– Nate Tew, GEM Missionary