Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
Deuteronomy 8:6, NIV
Friend to Friend
I was excited to be at a concert with my girls, but when it began, I realized I had forgotten something very important. Earplugs! The speakers were pointed straight towards my eardrums and some serious decibels were coming at me.
I could hear the music all right, but not much else. When my daughter tried to say something to me, I couldn’t understand a word. It was too loud to hear anything but the music.
Most of us don’t attend concerts every day, but in our loud world, it’s common for us to use earbuds for music, or have background noise in our homes and cars. Sometimes our entertainment can become so loud that we no longer hear the still small voice of God or the cries for attention around us.
While getting ready for the day, the morning news is heard throughout the house instead of having a silent time to pray.
The TV is on during mealtime which discourages conversation.
Before closing our eyes at night, we’re watching a favorite show instead of reading the Bible or talking with our husbands if we are married.
Today’s truth instructs us to “observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.” It can be hard to observe (detect, discover, examine, scrutinize) the commands of the Lord when we are listening 24/7 to news, movies, YouTube videos, social media, and notifications. We can become deaf towards the things of God.
The word obedience comes from the Latin word “ob-audire,” which means “to listen with great attentiveness.” Obedience is very closely related to listening. Picture a boy with his mother. She tells him to do his homework. Ten minutes later, she walks in the room and notices he hasn’t even started. “Oh,” he says somewhat lamely, “I didn’t hear you.”
Great listeners are great “obeyers” and conversely, poor listeners are poor “obeyers.” When we read the Bible with ears to hear, with a heart ready to obey, it transforms us and helps us become more like Jesus. But when we don’t approach God ready to listen, we can become hard of hearing.
We become spiritually deaf.
God is speaking to us but we don’t notice. When we stop praying, no longer seeking to hear God’s voice, our lives lack direction and focus. We drift back into old negative patterns. We forget what God has done. The same passage in Deuteronomy 8 (NIV) warns us of what happens when we stop hearing the voice of God: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed (v. 19).
We have a choice. Obey the commandments of God and live…or forget the Lord and perish. When you turn down the noise of the world, and turn up the promises and instructions in the Bible, you will experience blessing. Deuteronomy 7:12 (NIV) says, “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.” God will bless you, your family, your work, your possessions as you lean in to listen – not to the beat of this world, but to the voice of Almighty God. The children of God will be blessed more than any other people, and it starts with being a great listener.
Don’t let anything in your life create so much noise that you no longer hear the voice of God clearly.
Dear Jesus, open my eyes and ears that I may see wonderful things in Your law. My soul longs to know You better. You have given us commandments to benefit our lives. Help me to keep Your commandments so that I may live fully in Your joy and peace. I will obey Your decrees. Please don’t let me stray from Your commands. Deliver me from evil and keep me in Your loving care.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you a good listener? Why or why not?
Read Psalm 119:9-11 (NIV) out loud and think about these words today:
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
More from the Girlfriends
Do you need help silencing your phone so you can spend more time listening to God? Arlene’s book Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life will help you re-center your life on God and loving others well. It’s a no-guilt solution oriented book that will help you declutter your screen time.