I think there is a difference between hearing and listening. You can be hearing but be “indifferent” meaning you hear but do nothing. It could be described as “flowing in one ear and out the other.” Listening, on the other hand….to me…is not just “hearing, but processing what you are hearing and applying it to yourself”. Acting on what you have heard…….maybe visualize it as “going in one ear…and sitting in your mind–giving it thought and attention and allowing it to simmer!” I can tell exactly when our kids are hearing rather than listening. It is evident with anyone for that matter.
When they are just hearing….there is no eye contact. They are usually fidgeting, or even interrupting because they are thinking of what they are going to say instead of allowing the “message to be delivered!” I am guilty as well, not just my kids. But as I have earnestly been seeking the Lord….I have learned to “listen” and not just hear.
I love the scripture found in Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” Jesus not only wants us to hear, He wants us to listen…and then when we have truly heard…ACT.
This verse follows Jesus teaching in Luke about the parable of “sowing” good seed. The “seed” is God’s Word. He wants us to read His word…LISTEN…and OBEY. He says the “seed” that falls on good soil a.k.a. the soil of our heart…. stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering, produce a crop. This is the…act of truly “Listening”. “Walking out the listening of what you have heard” by telling others and sharing HIM with others. “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (see Matthew 5:15).
In Scripture, Jesus is referred to as “Light” and Satan, or evil, as “darkness”. In order to know the difference…to be “good soil” where seed planted can produce a harvest of 100-, 60- or 30-fold….we are expected to not just hear, but listen….and then ACT. Consider if you need to develop more of a “listening” ear to God…a great place to start is in reading His Word….meditate on it…and you will hear His voice more clearly…thus giving you all the opportunity you need to produce a harvest!
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