Have you ever had the experience of not being listened to?
Okay, so that was mostly a rhetorical question. I’m going to bet we all have at some point. One thing we as humans are really good at is trying to figure out how to respond to people in a conversation before they’re even done talking. However, when we do that, we sacrifice our ability to fully listen to the other person. When this happens, it has the potential to leave the person who is speaking to have the experience that what they are saying doesn’t matter or that we don’t really care what it is they have to say. I don’t think I have to do much explaining to you as to why no one enjoys feeling these things, and often times, we like to translate the feelings we have toward experiences with other people to God as well. Leading me to ask the more specific question:
Have you ever had the experience of not being listened to by God?
Better yet, does God even want to listen to us? The truth is, just as God speaks to us, he also listens to us when we speak to him. For any relationship to be successful both people need to be willing to communicate and listen to one another. God strongly desires a relationship with each one of us and is the perfect listener, when we call on his name, he hears us.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12 NIV
One of the ways we can tell that people are listening is by their responses to what we are telling them. God responds to our prayers and speaks to each of us in different ways. Regardless of whatever way God speaks to you, we can know it comes from a sense of peace.
I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. Psalm 85:8 NLT
In my own life, one of the ways in which God speaks to me is through emotions. Although my highly logic-focused brain would prefer that he chose other methods at times, it does in its own unique way bring me much peace when I need it most. I know that my natural self would respond more strongly through logic rather than my emotions in most situations in life. Through the years of growing in my relationship with God, I have been able to now use my emotions in a powerful way to hear the messages God has for me.
In what ways does God communicate to you? How has what God has told you in the past brought you peace?
Conversely, we can know that if God speaks peace, the enemy will do the exact opposite and speak worry and anxiety. In those moments, we must remind ourselves that God tells us we have nothing to be anxious about. Meaning, that anything telling us to be anxious is not from God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV