This past week while I was preparing for the message something struck me. During an amazing event (the Transfiguration) God gives only one command, only one thing to do. It is to listen to His Son. So why don’t we listen? Here are a few reasons why we don’t listen:
1. We are so focused on our plan that we don’t ask God for His. We are like Peter during the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36), and so many other times in his life. We are so focused on what we want to see happen, we fail to realize our plan and God’s plan are not the same. We simply get caught up in our plan and miss the fact that our plan may not be God’s plan. Our plan can seem right, sound good, we may even believe we have good motives, but if we are so focused on pursuing our plan that we don’t ask God what His is, then we can easily fail to hear Him speaking to us. What should we do? Stop and ask Him. God what do you want? How many kids should we have? How should we use our money? Where should I work? Where should I go to school?
2. Sin. Many of us have an obedience threshold. I will obey you God with all of this (fill in the blank), but don’t ask me to (and fill in the blank). We know we have said no to God. No. I won’t trust you with my money. No. I won’t give you that habit. No I won’t stop taking these pills or finding escape somewhere else. No. I won’t control my anger. So God stops communicating with us. We reject His word and reject His word and eventually He stops speaking. Like Amos says to people who keep rejecting God’s Word, “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land– not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD (Amos 8:11). So what do we do? Stop and turn. Stop turning to our sin and turn to God. Hunger and thirst for righteousness and we will be filled.
3. We are too busy. We have so many things we are doing we can’t hear. We have soccer games, business deals, tests to study for, doctors appointments, and deadlines. While we are also doing all of these things there are a ton of voices speaking to us, the television, our co-workers, our pastor, our friends, marketers and salespeople. How can we hear anything? We need to be still and know that He is God. When is the last time you just stopped in silence alone with God?
4. We have twisted what He has said. This fourth reason is a lot like the second with one slight difference. The person who does this no longer realizes what they are doing is sin. God has clearly communicated His plan in many areas and we rationalize and justify why what He has said does not apply to us. God understands why we are living together (forget His plan for sex as a good gift to be celebrated in the context of marriage), we love each other, we are going to get married, besides that is old fashion. God knows why I don’t give, once I get to this level then I will. God knows why I get angry so easy, it was my Dad’s fault. God knows why I don’t forgive like Christ forgave, I have been offended more than Jesus was. What should we do? Get honest with ourselves and stop lying. Stop lying to God, stop lying to others, and stop lying to ourselves. Then see number 2.
5. We don’t know His voice. In John 10 Jesus says that sheep know their shepherds voice (John 10:1-18), and that He is the good Shepherd. If we don’t know the Shepherd we don’t know His voice so when He speaks we can’t listen. Do you know His voice? If not then what you need to do is start a relationship with the Shepherd. Here is how (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-13).
God is speaking, are you listening?