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July 8, 2015

Active Listening

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”  Psalms 27:8 (NLT)

Nothing will delight your heart more than hearing the whisper of God! Prayer is more than talking at God. It’s a dialogue with God! It is designed to quiet our hearts and souls so we can listen to God. How you listen is not really the issue – although we tend to make that too complicated. When we refine our listening skills to hear God’s divine whisper, we become attuned to the needs of others around us. I call this active listening! It’s a way of life that allows you to become the message to the people around you. When you do that, it changes you. Hearing God’s divine whisper produces a change in your attitudes and motivations, a switch from your own desires to responses of compassion and love. God’s voice makes us sensitive to the needs of people around us.

A friend of ours was driving down the highway and came upon a pickup truck parked by the side of the road. An elderly man and woman stood beside it. One wheel was jacked up, and a tire leaned against the rear bumper. My friend whizzed by in his car. But, as he passed, he heard in his heart: Stop. They have a flat tire, and the spare is flat. At first, he kept going. But, the farther he went, the heavier he felt. The words kept repeating in his mind: They have a flat, and the spare is flat. Finally he turned around and went back. When my friend got out and asked what was wrong, the man said, “Got a flat tire, and the spare is flat.” My friend gave the man a ride to a service station to get the tire fixed and, then, went back to tell the woman her husband would be along shortly. She smiled and said, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” My friend said yes. And she added, “I am too, and I was praying for help when you stopped.” Even though my friend didn’t immediately stop, he was open enough to the whisper of God to hear it. He was able to hear God’s whisper in the silence of his car. It tuned him in to the need of the people he was passing by. That was sacred silence.

Bill Hybels says, “If you lower the ambient noise of your life and listen expectantly for those whispers of God, your ears will hear them. And, when you follow their lead, your world will be rocked!” That’s what God can do when you actively listen!