Conntecting the Dots

Hearing God and Listening to God: Two Different Things

“I [Jesus] tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live.” (John 5:24, 25 NLT)

As a young mom, I routinely took my kids grocery shopping with me. Most often the errand went smoothly, but once in awhile it turned into a misadventure.

On one occasion when my youngest was only a few weeks old, I placed her in a fabric baby carrier on my chest. My two-year-old daughter sat in the grocery cart, and three-year-old Matthew walked beside me.

Shopping complete, we exited the store and paused to let traffic pass before heading to our car. I’d been holding Matthew’s hand, but at that moment he jerked free and dashed directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

“Stop!” I yelled.

Matthew obeyed. Thankfully, so did the car’s driver.

Obviously Matthew heard my voice when I yelled that one-word command. But he did more than just hear it—he listened to it and responded appropriately. Doing so saved his life.

God speaks to His children every day: He might do so by placing a specific thought in our minds. He might communicate through a song or a quote or through another person’s words. He always talks to us through His Word when we take time to read it. How do we respond?

Do we hear God’s words and shrug them off as ho-hum or applicable only to others? Or do we hear His words, listen to what He’s telling us, and respond appropriately?

Paying attention and responding to God’s voice literally saves our lives. Not only do we find the path to eternal life, but we find wisdom that teaches us how to think and behave on a daily basis. We find truth to help us remain anchored in the midst of society’s shifting standards of right and wrong. And we find strength to persevere when we feel like giving up.

Hearing God’s words and listening to them are two different things. Which one describes your response to His voice?

I invite you to share an experience that brought life change when you listened to something God said.

#bgbg2 #ChristianDevotions #ListenToGod

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