Art of Listening


Today, Saturday 4/30/11, Vicki and I visited the University campus we graduated from in 2004, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). While walking on campus I picked up a copy of University Times. In this issue there was a short article about “Body of Teen Found On Side of Freeway.”

The body of a 17 year old female was found nude and in a plastic storage container next to the I-5. That’s cold! That’s brutality! Heartless, it’s a sign of the times.

2 Timothy chapter 3 reads: “Mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, ABUSIVE, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL, BRUTAL, not lovers of the good, TREACHEROUS, rash, conceited, LOVERS OF PLEASURE rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

You can only guess how terrorizing the final moments of that girl’s life was.  God created that girl, and I know it was not His intention that her life end like that. God had a good life in store for that girl. Jesus Christ says: “The thief (Satan) comes ONLY to steal and KILL and DESTROY; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” – John 10:10. So you know who to blame, the thief, NOT God!

We have no idea about how many times God reached out to her trying to turn her from danger. The Bible tells us that God intervenes in the affairs of life at least 3 times wanting to turn a person to Himself.

I’ve often wondered that when a person who is facing a situation that could mean death, he/she doesn’t experience a sense of foreboding warning them not to go there, or do that. Some of you may remember the fatal MetroLink disaster a few years ago when a MetroLink train ran head on into a freight train killing a number of people.  It made me wonder if some of those people standing on the platform waiting for that ill-fated train didn’t have a sense of foreboding warning them not to get on that train. But they refused to listen to that sick feeling down inside and got on the train ride to the graveyard.

About ten years ago I read an article about a woman who while waiting to board a plane sensed an inner warning not to get on that plane. It was the Lord warning her that the plane was going to crash while taking off.  She went to the flight attendant station at the boarding gate and tried to warn them. Of course they didn’t take her seriously. She rescheduled her flight. That plane crashed while taking off killing everyone on board.

A reporter heard about this woman and found her to interview her. He asked her about the incident and when she told him that God warned her not to get on that plane, the reporter got angry. He almost shouted at her, “Why would God warn only one person and let all those others get killed?” Her answer was clear and direct: “I know He tried to warn all of those people, but I was the only one who listened to Him.” 

That’s the way it is, God reaches out to people, but for their own reason, they don’t listen to Him. That is why for decades Vicki and I have constantly worked at recognizing and responding to the leading and promptings of God’s Holy Spirit. When you want to hear someone talking to you, you practice listening to Him.  You can listen to the Spirit of God or you can listen to people, that’s your choice.  That is why Vicki and I spend so much time reading and studying Scripture. The Bible is God speaking, “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful” for hearing God speak to your heart.

God promises to keep us from ALL harm, but if we won’t listen to Him, how can He do that? – Psalm 121:7,8; Psalm 91:9,10. 

That 17 old girl was dumped along the freeway like trash. A human life treated like useless trash. The person[s] who did that are going to be miserable: “A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be fugitive till death; let no one support him” – Proverbs 28:17.

Keep in mind: “Nothing in all creation is uncovered from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” – Hebrews 4:13.  God saw it all. Some might demand, “Then why didn’t he stop it?” Without a doubt He tired but no one would listen.  That is a warning to all of us!

Have you set your heart to listen to God speaking to you? Jesus Christ promises: “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me” – John 10:17. He also promises, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” – John 10:29,30.

Why can’t people hear God? Sometimes my heart aches for people, it’s like they are walking in their sleep.  Our society has been trained. We are a mass consumer society. We are constantly being trained to be passive consumers that keep a consumer capitalist society humming along. If people stopped watching T.V., stopped buying DVDs, stopped watching movies, this economy would probably collapse. Hour after hour, people sit in front of their big plasma screens mindlessly being programmed to think life will go on as usual.

Life can change in a moment, ask those who are currently living through tornados, floods, earthquakes, fires, murders, people living in war zones.  One moment their lives were normal, the next moment everything around them is a disaster. If you don’t think it can happen to you, you have been put to sleep by your plasma T.V. Stuff happens folks, and it may happen to you in the twinkling of an eye. Don’t think so? Ask those people who are going through disaster right now.

Try this: shut the T.V. off for one week and see if you don’t notice more going on around you. When you get away from the T.V. you will find yourself thinking again, no joke. But, reality is not entertaining! And our society is addicted to entertainment! Oh, hide your cell phone too! No kidding, you live in a real world. I know it’s too much to ask that you open a Bible and read it, if you did you would hear God speaking to you.

God promises to keep those from ALL harm who listen to Him. If you won’t or can’t listen to His warning, blaming God won’t help you at all.

An Invitation: If you haven’t accepted God’s free gift of eternal life, but you would like to, simply pray this prayer:

“Jesus Christ, I believe you are the Son of God and the only way to God. I admit that I’m a sinner, please forgive my sins and come into my life; I want to be born again. Please show me how real you are. Also baptize me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for accepting me.”

If you’re still a skeptic: “God, if this is true, please help me understand so that I can accept the gift of New Birth you purchased for me.”





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