We went to a concert over the weekend and during a brief intermission a young guy came up to give the crowd a little information about the organization he was representing. Unfortunately, while he was talking, there were many side conversations going on. You could hear the rumbling from the crowd more than you could hear the young man on the stage. I had to really focus on him to hear what he was saying. This illustrates how life can sometimes get when God is trying to talk to us. There is so much going on in the world around us that tries to drown out His voice but we have to make an effort to hear Him. We have to tune out the things that distract us and tune in to God.
In John chapter 10, Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” He then said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” I think He made the two distinct statements intentionally. He first said His sheep “hear” His voice. Hear simply means to perceive a sound. I believe Jesus was saying that we must first recognize that He is speaking. He then said His sheep “listen” to His voice. Listen means to pay attention and heed and requires effort. You can hear something without trying but in order to listen it requires action on our part.
In life, there will always be distractions. There will always be people, places, and things competing for our attention. But if you want peace, joy, happiness, direction and understanding you have to make the effort to listen to what God is saying. Take just a moment to tune out the world so that you can tune in to the wonderful, loving, correcting, and uplifting message that God has for you.