Why is it so important to listen to before you speak? Because your words can create a seed into someone else’s life. I am very good at speaking, but when it comes to listening, I tend to talk over the other person, which does not help matters at all. This person said to me earlier today, ‘It’s good to listen before you speak’. And really it is…let us encourage one another by being careful of what we say, whilst being able to listen to the other person why they are speaking…I believe there is a time for everything…a time to speak, and a time to LISTEN (Ecclesiastes 3 verse 11).
Not only do we have to listen to others, we must also know when God Himself is speaking to us…at times we tend to confuse the Voice of God to the voice of man, which should not be so. When someone blesses you, you must ensure you confront God to let Him know what has been said upon your life. You should not just go with what someone tells you, but put it in the Hands of God and pray over it.
Listening to God is like listening to anyone; before you can hear Him, you must be ready to listen. Just as in a conversation, you cannot hear the other person if you are talking or if your mind is distracted. So it is the same situation with God. If you want to hear Him speak, you must be quiet and focused on what He is saying. Regular conversations with God can transform your life! Try it, because it really works! Whether its being casual with God, He will prefer you praying for five minutes relative to not praying at all. Consider identifying a place and time to meet with God everyday – Usually in the mornings are recommend to spend quality time with God, just because I am assuming the majority of us work early mornings, and may get tired towards the evening.
Listening to God requires a deliberate choice to ‘shut out’ the chaos around you and focus on your thoughts. Is God someone you can hear all the time, or certain moments? If it is not everyday, check yourself…what are you listening to? Better off, WHO are you listening to? The way in which you can listen is through His Word as it is the main tools through which He speaks.
We live in a world of noise however. Almost everywhere we go, we find sounds competing with our minds, keeping us from letting our thoughts get below the surface level. Hearing God’s voice means not listening to the noise of the world around us. It’s not easy, but it can be done! Remember in Romans 12 v 2; “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]”.
Listening to God – WHAT NOW?
Listening to God requires a right attitude in our hearts. In order to listen to God effectively and receive His instruction(s), we must want to do His will, as much as Habakkuk did (Habakkuk 2 verse 2). God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him. We should always surrender all the things that we desire of God to do. If we are stubbornly clinging to our own desires, we are likely to get a garbled message that will not be God’s voice at all and eventually end up frustrated and upset. As a result, we are likely to continue pursuing a path that is contrary to the one God has designed for our lives. Let us try to always confide in God in all we do! Let us make an effort to listen to His voice on a daily basis, and not just when it is convenient.
Bottom line: BEFORE YOU SPEAK…LISTEN! You can prevent a negative seed from growing if you listen more 🙂