“You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables.”Matthew 13:11-13, NLT
I listen to people for a living. I am a mental health therapist and my job requires me to actively listen to people. There have been a number of times when I have spoken into the persons life and was confronted with a blank stare. That has always been a sign to me that I either mis-heard them or mis-interpreted what they said. Then I have to double back and ask for clarity.
I so wish I could sit face-to-face with my God. That way I could not only hear His voice clearly, but then I could double check. “Did I hear you right?” “Is this what you mean?” “Did you mean for me to do this…say this…go there?” I know I am not alone in my desire for the clarity of God.
In Matthew we see God’s desire to speak clearly to us. It’s not only about His clarity it’s about our willingness to listen…really listen…actively listen. In order for me to actively listen to my clients, I have to do work. I have to make sure I’ve had enough rest and am not exhausted. I have to focus. I have to look for cues that either match what they are saying or contradict what they are saying. I have to be willing to ask for clarity when I don’t understand.
Am I listening to God with as much urgency as I listen to those around me?
I am challenged to spend more time preparing to listen to God and then setting aside time to listen. I am challenged to follow-up with God and trusted Christ-Followers about teachings I don’t understand. I am encouraged that God does not desire confusion but clarity. I am encouraged that my God reveals Himself to us…that He desires to grow our knowledge of Him. We have a God who desires to be known by us.
Dear God, may my heart continue to be drawn to You and understanding of You. May understanding draw my heart closer to yours. May understanding be seen in my actions and how I love you and others. Thank you God for your presence and your teaching and your love. Amen.