Hubby and I got to enjoy time with friends the other day, dinner out at a local sports bar. I’m not exactly a sports fan or a sports bar type of person but our friends had a gift certificate they wanted to use so off we went.
Delicious food – really and truly good. But the place is one large, open room with prominent bar and each wall covered with large screen TV’s. The Florida game was on and the diners were fans because the noise level was out of sight. I immediately knew conversation was going to be tough and indeed it was. We had to lean in to talk and then speak loudly. Even with that, it was difficult to hear. By the end of the night our voices were rough from overuse. And while I would certainly want to return for their yummy food, that’s just not going to happen because of the noise.
Interestingly enough, one of the TVs near us had the Florida-Tennessee game on and since my daughter and her hubby met at Florida and are huge fans, if I’m going to cheer for any team, it will be them. They were losing the entire game and at the 3:48 mark were down by six. On the fourth down they had no option but to play it out rather than try for a field goal. Wouldn’t you know it, they scored to tie the game. The place went nuts and I found myself cheering aloud as well. The icing on the cake was they scored the extra point and won the game.
Like the noise at the restaurant, the noise of the world can often interfere with our lives. Vendors clamor for our attention to sell us their goods. Bosses at work speak to us about working harder and longer and producing more. Family and friends can at times make demands on your time that you don’t know how to meet and you find yourself trying to be all things for all people. You even add to the noise with your own expectations for yourself and then berate yourself when you fail to meet them all.
What’s the answer? There’s no easy one for sure. All the things mentioned are good and important but truth be told, we can’t do it all. And we need to stop listening to the noise long enough to hear the voice of the One who really does matter. The One who knew and loved us before we were formed. The One who calls us to a life of purpose. The One who gave up everything for you so you could know and love Him.
It’s His voice we need to listen for. His voice that will be found when we turn a deaf ear to everything and everyone else that clamors for our attention. Here are seven reasons (out of many) why we need to listen to God’s voice:
- For direction: If you go the wrong way—to the right or to the left—you will hear a voice behind you saying, “this is the right way. You should go this way.” Isaiah 30:21 NCV
- To increase your faith: So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV
- To give you life: The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. John 6:63 NIV
- For correction and training: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
- To find wisdom: But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you. James 1:5 NCV
- For peace: I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. Psalm 85:8a NLT
- To experience God’s everlasting covenant and unfailing love: Listen and come to me. Pay attention to me. Then you will live. I will make a covenant with you that will last forever. I will give you my faithful love. Isaiah 55:3 NIRV