There’s hearing, and then there’s listening.
Hearing is the ability to perceive sounds or information.
Listening is paying attention to them.
Today’s Scripture readings in Jeremiah are tragically sad, but sadly not uncommon. These Old Testament accounts are huge red flags warning us of danger ahead when we don’t give God our full attention with all our heart, mind, and strength. Why? Well, if we aren’t paying attention to God and His ways, we’re headed in the wrong direction—going backward and not forward. Too often, these wrong paths take us to dark and destructive places.
The culprit of distraction is usually some innocently attractive lure such as a full schedule, raising kids, a quest for more of something, or even an electronic gadget with a host of fun surprises!
To my knowledge, my six children all have perfect hearing, but too often their listening can be passive! Sometimes the only thing that will grab their attention is my secret code word: ice cream. Instantly they're hooked and reply, “Wow! Really, Mom?” I then confess, “No, I just needed your attention!”
Honestly, I can be a passive listener, too, like when the smart phone has my concentration over my family. “Mmhmm … what’s that again, honey?”
We may laugh at these typical faux pas, but this is really not okay. It’s dishonoring to people. And when it comes to ignoring God, it’s tragically undervaluing Him and downright rebellious.
If we’re going to fully follow our heavenly Father, we’re going to need to pay attention to His messages! Remember, His divine communication comes in a variety of formats: His Word, a fellow believer’s counsel, a Bible Plan, a dream or vision, a whisper, or a nudging thought. Yes, the mode of God’s communication is vast because He’s a BIG God and a communication expert desiring to continually connect with you!
Ask the Father: What is distracting me from paying attention to You?
Today’s worship song recommendation: “First” by Lauren Daigle