“Good listening!” I wasn’t in the room, but could easily envision the scene that had taken place. My daughter-in-law had been teaching two-year old Grace to not climb the stairs by herself. Apparently, little Grace made a good choice and turned from the step rather than scurried up it. Ali re-enforced her choice with the encouraging words, “Good listening!” Later in the day, I heard Ali say to Grace, “Share with Hudson.” Then, “Good listening, Grace.” This time I noted that it had nothing to do with preventing Grace from falling down the stairs and hurting herself. Rather, it was to teach her how to relate with others.
As we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome to 2014, I wonder if God would say, “Good listening” to us. As I write this, I have a sinking feeling that too often I wasn’t a good listener in 2013. I either took a step of sin that He told me not to take, or I ignored what He told me to do. However, I want to be a better God listener and know just the people from which to learn: Mary and Joseph.
HEAR GOD’S WORD THROUGH UNEXPECTED MESSENGERS
In Luke 1:28, Gabriel announced to Mary that she was favored with God and God was with her. Rather than ignoring the unexpected messenger, Mary listened to him.
Good Listener Tip: Listen to unexpected people through whom God may want to speak to us.
HEAR AND KEEP PONDERING GOD’S WORD IN MY HEART
Luke 1:29 tells us that Mary was perplexed by Gabriel’s words. However, rather than dismissing what he said, she kept pondering his words in her heart.
Good Listener Tip: Rather than hear a message or read something in the Bible and then not give it another thought, ponder in my heart what He has said.
HEAR AND BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS
In Luke 1:30, Gabriel told Mary to not be afraid. Jesus has told us to not be afraid. But, do we hear and believe Him? If Mary had responded in fear, she would not have said yes to God’s announcement. But she heard and believed.
Good Listener Tip: If God says it, hear and believe Him. He means what He says.
HEAR AND RESPOND
Mary did more than hear God’s message. She committed herself to what God wanted to do in and through her even though at great sacrifice. How many times have we heard God’s words, but not committed to do what He said?
Good Listener Tip: Respond, “Yes, Sir, Lord.”
HEAR AND DON’T DELAY
Joseph was also a good God listener. Therefore, God was able to use him in most important ways. Not only did he obey the message to take Mary as his wife, he also responded immediately when the Lord told him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt; that Herod was going to search for Jesus to destroy Him.
Good Listener Tip: Don’t delay doing what God tells me to do. Do it now!
It’s amazing to me that God speaks to us. Those who are “good listeners” are rewarded with the opportunity to serve God in significant ways. They are also prevented from much harm that comes from sin. I want it to be said of me in 2014, “Good listener.” What about you?
Heavenly Father, You are an awesome and wonderful God. Thank You for speaking to us. Help us become better listeners in 2014 so that You may say of us, “Good listening.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Debbie Taylor Williams’ passionate focus to help others know God’s life-changing power has led her to author numerous Bible studies, teach and lead retreats and conferences and serve as keynote speaker at events throughout the United States.