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Listen Up!

Dear Friends,

This morning I came to the conclusion that my dog has selective hearing. In other words, when he doesn't like what I'm saying, he acts like he doesn't understand me. For example, this morning he was laying on my bed, and when I told him to get down, he looked at me as if to say, “What? I don't understand the gibberish coming out of your mouth.” And then he settled his head comfortably back on his paws and tried not to make eye contact with me. So I went downstairs, opened the pantry door and grabbed his bag of dog treats. Suddenly, he appeared. In an instant he went from completely deaf to having supersonic hearing. It seems that when he likes what I want him to do, he hears and obeys. But when he doesn't like it, he doesn't hear and he doesn't obey.

Sound familiar? We can be exactly the same way with God. When He tells us to do something that we like, we immediately respond with, “Absolutely, Lord!”. But when He tells us to do something we're not so excited about - or if he tells us to stop doing something that we like - our response is more like, “What? I can't really understand what You're saying. Got a bad connection here - better go. I'll check in later.”

In John 15:14, Jesus addresses this problem of selective hearing when He says, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you”. Notice that He didn't say, “You are My friends if you do the things that you like and want to do.” Instead, God clearly lays out in His Word how He wants us to live, and it's up to us to live that way. We can't treat God like a salad bar, picking and choosing the things we like, and skipping over the things we don't like.

Now, if you're like me and you struggle to be completely obedient (just ask my parents), I want you to consider this - if God tells us to do something, He's doing if for our own good. And if He tells us not to do something, it's also for a good reason. God sees the beginning and the end - and everything in-between. He has a perspective on life that we will never have, and so when He directs our steps, it's because He can see the road ahead, and He knows what will best protect us. So even if we don't understand why He tells us to do what He tells us to do, we need to obey and do it…without delay.

So today, let’s ask God for supersonic spiritual hearing so that we can clearly hear and understand Him when He calls us. And then let’s ask Him to give us the desire to respond with obedience - and in that way, honor Him.



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