Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
Having a desire to hear from God and actually listening are two different things. Let’s look at listening to God as an act of obedience. Like anything else God tells us to do, if we do it we are blessed, but if we disobey, we forfeit the blessing.
Some people find it easy to forgive others because they were taught at a young age to forgive their siblings. If we know we should forgive our neighbor – and we want to obey that scripture that says we should forgive – but we hang onto our grudge, we miss out on the blessing God wants for us. We’ll take our relationship with God to the next level when we follow through with that act of obedience.
However, many of us were not raised to practice the simple act of listening to God.
Listening is an act that happens on purpose. Someone who listens waits with expectation. Who would walk up to someone, ask a question, and then immediately walk off? But we pray like that all the time.
God answers us. He’s been answering us for thousands of years. Psalm 3:4 is an example. “To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.” This tells of someone who waited with the expectation of an answer.
Intentional listening is putting our love for God into action. We can’t stop with just a desire to hear. We have to press through that phase and put some muscle into that desire. The effort we spend on listening to God is never wasted.
Step three of hearing from God is listening for His message.