Blog, Influencers Devotionals

Is Anyone Listening by Rocky Fleming

September 27, 2022

“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.”  Isaiah 65:24 (ESV)

If you haven’t figured it out, you will.  People do not listen anymore.  They seem to have a faraway, distracted look when you talk to them.  That’s because we are generally distracted now days.  More often than not drive through food orders are not accurate.  Basic information passed to another person is somehow not heard or understood and is therefore misunderstood and incorrectly responded to.  It’s not bad people I’m speaking of.  For instance, I was with a friend the other day trying to reveal some personal, and important information to him.  While doing so I looked and saw him on his cell phone reading something.  I stopped talking and he never knew that I stopped.  In fact, when he finished looking at his phone, he began talking about what he was reading about and never commented or realized that I had been sharing something personal.  He never heard me.  What did I do?  I shut down.  I went quiet.  I changed the subject because he wasn’t listening.  That’s what we do don’t we?  We keep our feelings hidden and bottled up and it makes us think that no one cares.  We feel disrespected simply because someone didn’t hear us or even care to, whether it is a spouse, a friend, or an employee at the cash register.  It is a human dynamic to be hurt or offended, for we want to be heard.

What should we do in a situation like this when we feel disrespected?  First, don’t take it personal for it is not personal now days that someone doesn’t listen to us.  We make it personal when we allow our feelings to be hurt.  It generally isn’t meant to be an insult.  My friend didn’t intend to insult me.  It’s the culture we now live in, for people are putting less value on good communication and respectful listening.  It is a sorrowful state that our society has gotten to.  It creates so many mistakes in our communications that often leads to wounded relationships, and a whole boat load of misunderstandings.  But we can learn from it.  We can learn to be a better listener our self, for people need and want to be heard and doing so opens the door to a special ministry that we could have.  To intentionally listen to someone and by doing so let them know that we care is so rare now days.  It will take us to a deeper place with them, and Jesus can love them through us?  It will take patience and self-sacrifice to put someone else’s needs and words ahead of ours.  But it generally comes back to bless us in some way.  Some of you are saying right now, “But there are some people that never stop talking.  They are completely obsessed with themselves.  Listening to them becomes painful.”   I think I know who you are talking about, for I have several folks like that in my life.  But that doesn’t lessen them in God’s sight, and in fact they may be that way for they think no one cares.  Giving some intense listening and timely questions to assure them that we are engaged tends to bring balance.  Even so, it takes patience, and it is something to pray for.

But there’s still that question of what about you and me when we feel that no one is interested and listening?  It is natural, and especially if we pour ourselves into others, there are times that we feel all alone and have no one to discuss our feelings with and to find assurance.  However, there is good news.  The scripture above tells us that God is listening.  He is the best listener that we will ever have in our life.  His listening is so good that He hears our words before they are formed on our lips.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is even making petitions on our behalf in our sleep, before we know something will happen, and with something we hadn’t thought of.  That’s the kind of listener He is and what’s more, He is very interested in us.  We have the best resource available to us to meet our need for comfort and an honest conversation without condemnation, if we will invite Him in and we listen to Him.  Yes, we must learn to be a good listener to His voice as well so that we better share with Him what’s deep within us that needs to be discussed. 

Perhaps you question that having a conversation with God is possible.  For those of us who have learned His voice and ways we will tell you that Jesus made that which seems impossible possible.  He opens the door for us into a relationship with Him where communication is both possible and essential.  But it is not as the world communicates, and I’m grateful for that.  I’ve already presented a case that the conversations around us are rife with distractions and insensitivity.  But with Him, there is none of that.  It is only difficult for the unpracticed or the uninterested to realize that He is listening.  But be rest assured that He is well practiced with communication, and He is very interested in us.

Speaking of being well practiced.  I’m always intrigued that Jesus made time for alone time in prayer with His Father.  He needed it.

“And in the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and prayed there for a time.”  Mark 1:35 (NASB)

Jesus needed to be heard and to listen to His Father.  Let me emphasize that a little stronger.  Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God, needed to commune (communicate) with His Father just like we do.  He needed to talk and listen, as we should also adopt this pattern into our communion with God.  Just like Him we have that same need, and this provision has been made possible for us, if we will take it.  Wait no longer.  There is Someone very interested in you and waiting to really listen to you.  So, open up and start talking to Him.