Are You Listening to God?
Have you ever been around someone who always has something to say but never wants to listen? It’s difficult to build a relationship with a conversation-hog! Communication strengthens a relationship when it’s two-sided.
God wants to have a two-sided conversation with you. He listens to us through our prayers, and He expects us to listen to Him through His word. God loves our prayers. In Revelation, God reveals that he has golden bowls in heaven filled with incense – the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8). God’s favorite smell is the smell of his people pouring out their hearts to him.
But God wants to be heard by us also.
At one point during Jesus’s ministry, he took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain. Jesus transfigured into a glorious form. Elijah and Moses joined him. A dark cloud overshadowed them and God the father spoke through the cloud. He could have told the disciples anything in that moment. He chose these words:
“This is my son, my Chosen One; Listen to Him.” – Luke 9:35
We need to listen to Jesus.
Do you believe that the Bible is God’s Word? If you’re a follower of Christ, you should. Here’s what scripture says about itself:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17
The scriptures are God’s words written by the prophets and apostles. God inspired the writers. We should respect it as God’s Word. It’s the creator and the savior’s conversation with us.
If we’re supposed to listen to Jesus, does that mean only reading the red-letter parts? After all, those are the words of Jesus.. right?
Actually John 1 says this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
Jesus is the Word of God. All of it. Jesus Christ inspired the entire Bible. It’s all about Him from Genesis to Revelation.
We should make God’s word a priority in our lives. If we want to improve our relationship with Christ, we need to work our communication skills. We should pray, and we also should listen what God has to say. We need to make a quiet time a part of our daily routine. As my fellow blogger Joel wrote in an earlier post, “A habit is the hardest thing to start… but it’s also the hardest thing to break.” We need to get some good habits started in our lives… such as opening up our Bibles, reading them, and listening to God.
Do you feel you need to spend more time in God’s Word?
What can you do to unclutter your life and make scripture a priority?
I agree with you on one thing: that Christians should listen to Jesus. Really, once a Christian reads the whole Bible, they should then focus on the Gospels. I believe that Jesus’s words contained in those books are revealed truth and will constitute a life’s work for any believer.
On the other hand, some other New Testament books are clearly the work of inspired individuals who helped get the Christian Church started and to whom we are forever indebted. But Paul, for instance, occasionally is speaking as the highly educated Jewish scholar he was before his conversion and introduces ideas that are not supported by Jesus’s teaching. I’m thinking of Paul’s relegation of women to 2nd class status within the organization of the church. That is his Jewish background coming out. Jesus never uttered a single word that would support the idea that any group of people is less in the eyes of the Lord than any other. As a matter of fact, you could make a good case for Jesus teaching just the opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, Paul is incredibly important in our history, but occasionally he slips up and substitutes his own ideas for Jesus’s.
Like you say, (when in doubt) listen to Jesus.
Thanks, Chris, for this good question. I believe the Old Testament should be read by every Christian at least once. It does contain revealed truth (the word of God). Certainly the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law are revealed truth. And the books of the prophets also contain revealed truth, some of it Messianic prophecy and much of it dire warnings for the wayward Jews. I consider the rest history, poetry and other writings, recorded and preserved by the priestly class to the best of their understanding at the time.
Is the Old Testament as important today as the Gospels? I don’t think so. Much of Jesus’s time was spent fending off accusations by the Pharisees that he and his followers were not keeping the Mosaic law. His response: You must be more righteous than the most learned teacher of the law. Jesus was bringing humanity a new message, the Good News.
The biggest reason I think the Old Testament is less important than the Gospels is the fact that virtually no Christian religion embraces the Mosaic Law beyond the Ten Commandments. That fact is one embodiment of the changes Jesus taught.
Chris, I consider myself a devout Christian. I have a personal relationship with God and my teacher is Jesus. I am comfortable with modernity and science, no one else’s beliefs or lack thereof in any way interferes with my relationship with or belief in God. Jesus has given us much to do in this world and I am always looking for ways to deepen the amount of love and acceptance embodied in me.