Debbie Salter Goodwin
Are You Listening?
Do you remember why we looked at key verses through Philippians?
This was an exercise to take one to two verses that we could “listen” to for a week. I wanted you to see what happens when we consciously listening. If you did that for yourself, whatever I added was extra.
I want to destroy the idea that listening to God takes more time than we have to give. It takes focus, yes. It takes a mindset. However, It is not always about carving out a bunch of time.
When my husband and I take a long trip, we don’t fill every moment with conversation. We don’t make a big deal about trying to listen to the other unless there are unsettled issues we must deal with. Sometimes we simply sit in silence. But it is not a sterile silence or an uncomfortable one. It is the silence that makes either of us ready to listen. We interrupt that silence with comments about the scenery or the music we are listening to. Or one of us will think of something we have been meaning to talk about.
This is listening that moves our relationship forward. It is the comfortable listening of intimacy. It isn’t forced. It isn’t duty. It’s not a task to be scheduled. It’s just because we love being together, whether we talk or not.
That’s the relationship I want with God, one that isn’t forced but it isn’t haphazard either. We come together regularly for single-focused times, but I have 24/7 access to God and God has 24/7 access to me.
Do you want to know the easiest way I have found to develop this kind of relationship with God?
Turn self-talk into a conversation with God.
We spend too much time in our heads thinking about this and that, wondering about things we have no control over, worrying through a parade of what-ifs. What would happen if we turned that self-talk into God-talk?
God, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What do You think?
God, this is the way I see the situation. How do You see it?
God, I’m all tied up in knots about this. What is Your counsel?
Do you see what a seamless invitation to listen to God this becomes?
Let me be clear. I’m not recommending a more casual relationship; I’m advocating a more intentional one and a more available one. I’m pulling us away from any attempt to compartmentalize life between my time and God’s time. It’s we-time from the rising of the sun until sleep takes away our conscious thoughts. I live with God so that I can live for Him.
Besides, this is the kind of listening that opens in our souls a hunger for more. When that hunger is awakened, we will find a way to feed it.
Put away the thought that God isn’t interested in the minutia of your day. Be ready for Him to take any simple moment or question and make it your burning bush for the day: an encounter with our Always Present God. This is the comforting shadow of the Almighty in His hovering best. He does not hover to control you; He hovers to empower you to do and be all that He knows you can.
Do you have questions? Write me. I love to respond to questions.
And if you have listening habits that help you forge this 24/7 open listening relationship with God, write me about that, too. I’ve never believed that one way fits all.
Here’s my blessing for your week: