Are you listening?
Having 2 boys means I’m a mom who yells, often. My little one learned the word “no” 3 months sooner than his older brother did, and my 3 year old has known for awhile that he has a will, but only recently learned that he ALSO has power to exert that will. That means a LOT of putting my foot down, and when I ask for something, either to be done or to be ended, the world stops until it is. Usually, the boys try to distract me, engage in a power struggle or bring up something completely off topic, and I have to point out that we can’t talk about or do anything else until what I asked for is done. I don’t do this because I want to force or impose my will over theirs, but because I never ask without reason, without their best in mind, or without trying to teach them something.
I was actually talking about this with a friend of mine, comparing the epic meltdowns our children had that day, and she asked “why don’t they just listen to us?” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, to her confusion, and remind of her a scenario that had happened a few weeks prior:
She called me with an urgent prayer request, asking that I get on my “red phone” and ask God what He wanted from her. This was actually something we had prayed about before, regularly even. When I prayed, I felt Him say, “My answer hasn’t changed from last time.” He had given his response, and wasn’t about to change because she didn’t like that answer. Before I shared what I’d heard, I asked what she felt He was saying. “I hear nothing,” she said despondently.
Missionary and theologian A.W. Tozer is quoted saying, “Most Christians don’t hear God’s voice because we have already decided we aren’t going to do what He says.” Like the parent who says, “I’m not gonna yell, I told you what to do and that’s it,” God establishes His will and waits for us to listen.
Now, you might be listing all the reasons why you “don’t listen” to what God says to do, whether you’re afraid of the result, or think you know better for your life and now just isn’t the time to do ___, but at the end of the day, it boils down to the exact same reason that my kids don’t listen to me: we don’t obey because we don’t want to.
I mentioned earlier that I don’t ever ask my kids to do something without either a good reason, or the possibility that I have more information than they have. More than that, though, I desire their obedience at this age because it will create their value of my voice and their trust of me and my heart for them later, when issues far more critical than “please stop jumping on the couch” arise. In order for us hear our Father during pivotal, monumental moments, we have to begin with saying “yes,” to the things He asks us for now.
If you haven’t heard from God lately, I would encourage you to look at the last thing He asked you to do/not do, that you said “no” to. I would ask you to examine why you said no: Is it that you don’t trust Him to have the result of said action under control? Is it that you’re afraid you can’t live up to what you’re being called to? Does it just feel like a bad time and you can’t fit this one more thing into your life? I will remind you, it wasn’t raining yet when Noah built the ark, and people thought he was insane, but his obedience is what saved his family. (Heb 11:7) Whatever it is, lay down the power struggle and listen to what the Father has told you. He has more information than you do, a greater perspective than you have, and your best interest at heart.