Living To Listen
Living is a lot simpler than we realize. Living can be boiled down to three words. Listen, then Act! Listen to what? Act on what? How about listening to that still quiet voice inside that is constantly trying to get your attention?
How many times have you had a big issue to deal with and had a thought that you just let pass. Maybe you thought; “no, that won’t fix it!” Then another; “nah…that’s not the answer either.” Now granted, it didn’t look like the right solution. But maybe it just didn’t have the right feel, or some elements seemed to be missing.
Well, hardly is any solution as clear as crystal when it first comes to light. There are always some facets of it that need to be hammered out. And, that requires some more “listening.” But, most of the time we go running off half-cocked with partial information and cause ourselves more problems.
Living can be boiled down to three words. Listen-then-Act. Acting is only half of what we need to do to bring success. The problem is; most people spend ninety percent of the time focused on the acting and ten percent focused on the listening if any at all.
Waiting Lasts Too Long
Inherent in listening is an element of patience. And most of the time, we find ourselves long on need and short on patience. Living in a microwave world makes it tough to live patiently. But, learning the art of listening will make patience seem more tolerable.
Here’s why. Waiting on something we desperately need, makes us feel like we are idle and irresponsible. Keeping the patience makes us feel like we’re doing nothing.
We keep having the feeling, “we should be doing something.” Maybe you have heard the saying, “if it is to be, it’s up to me!” Maybe so, but, not necessarily Tonto. You have some help you may not even know about.
Patience just doesn’t conjure up the right kind of emotions in us to be still and “know that He is God”. The more the time passes the more impatient we become. But Listening seems to be and feels more like a pro-active function that we can tolerate.
Easy As ABC
It feels, at least somewhat, that we are doing something constructive to the completion of this problem. And the good part about listening is that it’s our spirit trying to give us the answers we need.
But, to make this an analogy; our spirit is a perfect gentleman/lady. Our spirit man never imposes himself on our desires. If we want to go off half-cocked, he will just be silent till we calm down. When we finally get quiet, he will provide leading once again.
Maybe that just answered a question that many have had about why an unction from the Spirit comes so sporadically. Have you ever had to wait till the fifty-ninth second to get an answer you needed?
At the very last moment, you were finally and totally out of all answers, ready to just let happen whatever was going to happen, and in the quietness of your mind and body, your spirit sends the answer. Personally, for me, this happens mostly when I’m totally out of all resources to help myself.
Getting Over The Hump
Have you ever said this to someone; “the answer is just on the tip of my tongue?” That’s a pretty good sign you need to get quiet and spend a little time listening to your spirit. The Spirit is trying to give you answers and you are too busy doing “stuff”, that’s going nowhere, and wandering around, for forty years, on the backside of the desert.
The point I’m trying to make is; we are the ones who make our lives complicated and difficult. Life was never meant to be a series of disappointments followed by death. We are just not using the tools we have been given to live it efficiently.
The hardest problems I’ve ever solved in my life were the ones that I just jumped on top of and showed it who was boss. I may have solved it, but I knew I had been in a fight with King Kong when it was over.
Give It A Rest
The easiest problems I’ve ever solved in my life were the ones that I took the time to listen to my spirit and see what he might have to say about it. A word of caution. You can’t listen effectively to your spirit while watching ‘Game Of Thrones’, sorry, but He wants some quiet in the room.
Now I’m not trying to tell you that you need to spend ten hours a day meditating and listening to your spirit and trying to find out what he has to say about any problem you may be facing. Your spirits got more sense than that. He’s no dummy and realizes you have to make decisions.
What the Holy Spirit wants from you is a little respect and recognition. He wants you to run to Him for answers instead of running headlong into a brick wall and wind up chasing your tail in every direction. You ever saw a dog chasing his tail? Going in circles and not getting anywhere. How dumb can you get?
Learning how to listen to your spirit only takes a few minutes a day. Daily practice of quiet time and listening will bring great rewards. The more you do it, the more you will be able to discern good information from “noise” in your mind which is just chatter.
Deep in your spirit is the answer for every problem life can throw at you. But your spirit has some rules and you have to follow them. They’re not hard. As we said, living was not designed to be hard; we are the ones that make it hard.
The Two Commandments
Rule number one: recognize that quiet time, listening to your spirit, is crucial for your problem-solving ability. Rule number two: develop a little humility when the answer comes. And, when you solve it, don’t be too quick to hog all the credit. A little humility won’t hurt you……so learn to ‘give thanks’.
Let me give you an illustration: Find a quiet place, sitting in a comfortable chair, with good posture, close your eyes and blank everything out of your mind.
As you remain quiet thoughts and ideas will come to you. Some will be noise and chatter; some will be worth listening to for more information. The longer you do it, the more efficient you’ll become at listening.
Last But Not Least
Finally, when the most plausible answer comes, the one you feel has the best chance of working, get up and go “act”. But you didn’t need me to tell you that. Most of us are pretty good at burning the candle at both ends. But, taking the time to “listen to our spirit” keeps us frustrated.