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One of my favorite quotes about communication comes from a book by Norm Wright and goes something like this...

"I know you think you heard what I said, but I don't think you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Being a family of eight we have more than our fair share of miscommunication. No matter how hard we try it seems to happen daily. Most of the time it's because we are much more concerned with being heard than being ready to listen. If we're honest we'll admit that this is a common human ailment. It's no surprise that our Creator gave us only one mouth but two ears!

One of the most remarkable aspects of Christianity is that God created us for a relationship with Him. I wish I heard God more often, more clearly than I do. I'm not referring to any audible voice from above. While I suppose God can operate that way if He chooses, that particular form of interaction is outside my realm of experience. It typically comes in the form of a notion in my thoughts or a subtle nudge in a certain direction. But I wish it happened more often. (Some times He even chooses to speak to me through my wife! But that's a topic for another day).

God speaking to Samuel in the middle of the night is one of the more popular Biblical stories. (1 Samuel 3:1-21) Samuel hears his name called and goes to Eli his mentor. Eli, not having called for Samuel, sends him back to bed. This happens three times before Eli finally realizes that it is God speaking. So Eli tells Samuel ...

“Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I'm your servant, ready to listen.’ " ~ 1 Samuel 3:9

What is it that makes Samuel such fertile ground for hearing God? Could it be that he didn't have any personal agenda? Could it be that he was fully surrendered to God's Lordship and prepared to serve? Could it be that he was ready to listen?

Scripture is very clear that the Holy Spirit dwells in us as Counselor and Guide to draw our attention to Jesus. Do you suppose the Spirit would be willing to help us become ready to listen if we asked Him? I'm betting He would!

Are we ready to listen?

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Comment by Rick Alvey on April 30, 2010 at 11:34am
Glad it was an encouragement! God bless!
Comment by Janice Garey on April 30, 2010 at 10:57am
Sometimes it seems our world is so full of things to listen to. You know how you always see a cell phone, headphones, sound systems, TVs, etc., wherever people are, and it seems when people do have a chance to be alone with God they feel like it is their turn to do all the talking. Well, God is patient with us when we are verbose. He waits and waits for His turn to speak in whatever form He chooses. I know He loves to hear our voices just as I love to hear the voices of children. But as the verse goes, to everything there is a season, a time for silence and a time to speak. Those words are there in Scripture to help us to know the best way to live. Thank you for this important reminder of the reciprocal nature of communication with God. I will be more alert to listening to God thanks to your post.

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