Do you hear what I hear?
Shhhhhhhhh, I’m trying to Listen
You get up in the morning to the sound of an alarm clock blaring at you. Then what, more confusion as you try to shake out the cobwebs still clinging to your mind? Now you venture off looking for relief at the restroom and further still splashing your face with water. Still we find ourselves not quite together yet, so onward till we get a cup of coffee, or glass of water, juice etc.
It has been about 5 to 10 minutes of a new day and we have just been subjected to the first noises of the day. We have hustled to silence our clock, our bladders and our stomachs. But did we hear the real call? In all of that commotion, did we hear God’s greeting for us? Maybe it would sound like this.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I think He was awaiting a response, what will be our reply?
Yes, there are our morning rituals and we need to accomplish these tasks and rid ourselves of other distractions in order to be more effective listeners. Are we now ready for Him? Let us sit a spell and praise His name for what we have. Let us rejoice at what providence we shall receive in this new day. I hope we have set apart a special time to hear His voice and be heard, for it will surely only develop into a day of one distraction after another and before long, we are at that day’s end. How then, can we train ourselves for this devotion? Let me read from an article about developing habits, good ones that is, or in this case the best ones. I did a little research about changing behavior and developing better habits and I found an American who sought to do the same, his name was Benjamin Franklin. Now from a founding father of this country, I’ll read Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.
1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation. Speaking of gluttony and drunkenness
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. Avoid speech that is not encouraging.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. We need to know our priorities.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. A part of the “Golden Rule”.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing. Be a good steward.
6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. Do not be prone to sloth, laziness.
7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly. Do not slander one another.
8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Do not become a stumbling block to others.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. Tolerance and turning the other cheek.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation. Be holy as He is holy.
11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. Do not be lustful.
12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Do not lose your faith, He told us we would even be persecuted for following Him.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Love and humility are very much a part of, a description of each other. Jesus left us one other commandment and that was “to love one another, as I have loved you”. Socrates employed humility in his life and I quote “Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us”.
Benjamin Franklin made a chart to document his progress on what are all admirable traits and even more importantly, Bible based and a part in living a life that is holy. We should strive to place these priorities in our lives. The second virtue on this list, silence, is important to the utmost degree, because “silence is golden”, speech is only silver. When we listen for instruction instead of speaking what we think we already know, how we deprive ourselves of real knowledge. From the LORD, either directly - if we are so fortunate – or indirectly perhaps through a friend, we may receive just such instruction. We may find his instruction for us in our family, or friendly conversation; in a song; even in nature.
Let’s think about the telephone, with the telephone comes much joy and also much heartache. News that your child or grandchild is having a baby, to the news that you’ve just won Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, that’s good news. Sometimes we listen to other news which is not so good, such as the passing of a family member, or friend. We never know what God is trying to tell us if we become too distracted, or involved in other things.
How many of us have ever heard someone say “ Shhhhh, be quiet my show is on” as in reference to them watching a program on TV. Suppose God was trying to speak to us through whomever that distraction happened to be, would we hear the message again, or was He testing us? Perhaps He was testing our devotion, has television become our false idol? Are we truly listening for him if we have that noise constantly in the background?
Now before anyone thinks I’m anti-television, I’m just saying what are we watching, just what are we hearing? That’s a lot of questions I’ve asked of you I know, I wonder what God would ask of us if we could only hear Him.
Here is a song by an artist named Ginny Owens, it’s called
“Who are you listening to”?
This is your life
And yet somehow
What you're about
You learn your lines
And take your cues
But who are you listening to?
You change your clothes
And how you speak
You place your hope
In what they think
Before you know
There's no more you
Who are you listening to
Have you noticed how much you fear
All the voices you choose to hear?
Who are you listening to?
Who tells you what to do?
Who rules your thoughts at night?
Whose rules define your life?
Oh, you know it's up to you
So, who are you listening to?
This is your life
You have no choice
You will rely
On someone's voice
And it's all right
To question who
Who are you listening to?
Do the words that you believe
Set your soul and spirit free?
There's a quiet voice
Whispering in your heart
It's been there all along
It believes in you
It will tell the truth
Can't you hear it call?
I pretty much can sum this song up into two choices. One; you listen to those children of this world, those who hold in high regard material and not spiritual blessings. Two, we listen to the quiet voice, the one in our hearts, our souls and our minds. It is the voice similar to that which cried out of the desert, the voice that spoke of the coming Glory and then He appeared and He taught us. He spoke of true treasure, that which we should hold sacred and cherished, which is our inheritance. This inheritance that can not be destroyed by moth, or rust and it can not be stolen, for we have stored it in our very souls
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”