“Help Me To Listen, Lord’
By Zach Wood
John 10:27-28 NIV
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
There are many challenges to being a parent. One of the greatest is talking to my kids and giving them instructions to follow, whether that is asking them to clean up something in their room or another room in the apartment, or asking them to go get something or take care of something quick. So often I find myself saying to them, “What is so hard about the concept of cleaning up?” My hands go up in the air in front of them and I repeatedly say that they need to listen to instructions and follow.
If you are a parent reading this, you are probably shaking your head in agreement and thinking through how your kids act as well. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this feeling at all. When our kids don’t do what we ask them to do, it is frustrating and we often find ourselves thinking about how we were when we were their age. Sometimes we do forget how much we struggled with doing what our parents asked us to do.
Our kids so often “hear” our voice, but they choose to do what they want to do instead. Or, they actually “listen”, but still don’t feel like carrying out what we ask them to do. Often I’ve literally asked them “Why aren’t you listening to me and doing what I ask you to do?” Sometimes I get a few responses or I get a shrug of the shoulders. That leaves me speechless often not knowing what to say next.
As much I find myself getting frustrated at times when they don’t listen, I cannot help to think how God feels when I don’t listen to Him. How does God feel when He instructs me to do something or not do something and I simply avoid following His voice and instruction. If I really cared enough and truly wanted to follow Him and obey, I would listen to His voice and be obedient, but often I do not.
John tells us that if we listen to His voice and focus on Him, then we truly know His voice and allow Him to penetrate our hearts instead of the voices of the world. It’s often so easy to let voices of the world dictate what we do instead of letting God’s voice dictate what we do. We follow the ways and voices of the world way too often. I know I do all too often.
I’m not into making a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, but one thing I really want to do be better at this year is paying attention more to His voice and knowing Him more. I hope and pray that is your prayer this year as well. Let us all make an effort to listen to Him more and let Him guide us more in all things. It’s a simple concept, but very hard often times to follow through on.
God bless you all and Happy New Year!