I don't know about you, but I like to talk. I like to listen too, don't get me wrong. In fact, a lot of people tell me that I'm a good listener.
I've always enjoyed being a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear for my friends.
Sometimes it's just best to listen, rather than speaking.
Sometimes, however, I forget that truth, more so when it comes to my conversations with God.
I talk to God a lot. I talk to Him in the morning when I wake up. I talk to Him when I'm driving. I talk to Him when I'm getting ready for the day. I talk to Him when I'm at church. I talk to Him at night time when I'm in bed.
So it's clear that I don't have a problem with talking. That's not a bad thing, BUT there's something that I don't do as much...listen.
Instead of listening, I tell Him my concerns, requests, thankfulness, praise, apologies. You name it- I tell Him. In fact, it reminds me of the different prayers I taught the campers while I was a Day Camp Director.
Prayer of adoration - praising God for who He is
Prayer of thankfulness - thanking God for all that He has done for you
Prayer of confession - telling God sorry for all the mistakes you've made
Prayer of supplication - asking God for help
All of these prayers are great and important, but part of being in conversation with God is to listen. It's not a one way conversation, because, well, it wouldn't be a conversation. God wants to talk to me, just like I want to talk to Him.
In the year long reading plan, today we started the book of Revelation. There is definitely some repetition especially at the end of each letter to the churches... for instance, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 3:22). Although this is talking about the churches listening to what God has to say to them, it also tells us that we need to listen too. When I read this, I got this sense that God was telling me, "I'm definitely glad that you talk to me, but I want you to hear me. I have things to tell you, but you're talking too much to hear me." Needless to say, I'm going to pay attention to that.
Sometimes we just have to stop rambling on and on to God about our dreams and desires and listen to what He has to say. I think we can get ourselves in a lot of trouble when we don't wait on God to figure out what He is calling us to do. It may not be an audible voice, it may be a sense of peace or a gut feeling. Whatever it is, God wants to talk to you. You have to stop first though (which I know can be hard). Remove yourself from distractions because the devil definitely likes to do whatever it takes to distract us. Listen with an open heart and mind.
Sometimes I just gotta shut my mouth and listen.
Do you struggle with this too?
Today's scripture for the read-your-Bible-in-a-year plan is Revelation 1-3.