A few months ago I had some mystery words that were eating at me. Actually, they were nibbling more than eating. I know because they were a bit annoying and distracting and would disappear once I paid attention. I couldn’t put my finger on them. I thought I knew the words that were being caged somewhere inside my brain, and on the tip of my tongue, but once I would come up with one that I thought was it, turns out, it wasn’t. God was playing with me.
Every year I choose a word in hopes in making me a better person. Now, becoming better how, you might ask. When I started choosing a yearly word a few years ago, it was personal and selfish. My first word was Strength. I wanted to be strong; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. And I succeeded! I was the strongest I had ever been. The word actually worked! The next year I chose Grow. By the end of the year, I was very different. I had taken on a new form. No really! I was a new creation in Christ Jesus! I ended up growing in ways I won’t elaborate on, but I will say this, I grew spiritually; big time. And like most things that grow, I grew towards the light….up! I grew towards Him. Thank you, Jesus!
But come October, God was leading me to a new word. “Why so early?” I thought. “I had a few months.” I came to the conclusion that He gave it to me early because, well, He’s God. His timing. But this morning He made me realize another possible reason.
My word for 2018 was Listen. I finally figured it out. If you read my post a few months ago on this, then you already know that listening is very difficult for me. On every level. I was probably one of those children that could have benefited from ADD meds. But I suffered through just fine. Honestly, I think it was for the best. I grew up with a huge imagination, so I could have possibly been robbed of that gift.
Anyway…back on track. This morning, like most, I read my devotional and I was instantly reminded why Listen was chosen as my word. I needed to be reminded because I had already distracted myself away from it; I was already not listening. Figures. Probably like you right now reading this, *wink*. I believe God gave me this word early so I would have a head-start. He gave me a head-start, and I still failed.
I must LEARN TO LISTEN! Wow, my word for 2018 wasn’t just one word! It was 3! LEARN TO LISTEN. How can I hear His voice, reflect His glory, and continue to grow in Him, if I don’t even know how to actually listen. How can I contribute to this world without becoming a part of it? I must listen! I can’t let this world distract me from Him!
So, like most things in life – unskilled things – I must learn how. It won’t come easy. And I won’t be perfect. The noise constantly surrounding me, and the noise I’m constantly focusing on, is muffling out His voice; it’s staticky and faint. Even now, I’m writing this blog, and all I can hear and concentrate on, is my space heater and the dryer. I’m never away from noise. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram…noise! Driving my car….noise. Traffic, road signs, billboards, potholes….all noisy. Whether it’s my hearing or my sight, the noise in my head is the same. It’s all distracting me from God’s voice. Taking me away from His Word and His truths. I must learn to listen without distraction. Even in dead quiet, there is noise. Noise in my thoughts and any shiny object around me.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s probably the hardest word that could have been given to me. I’m not a good God-listener. But with The Holy Spirit, teaching me and guiding me, I will become better. That is a given.
Learning to Listen…I pray its easier than I think.
“God shines on us. He speaks to us. He identifies us as His sons and daughters. As we see Him, listen to Him, draw close to Him, and bathe in His love, His favor on us becomes clear. We take on His nature. We become noticeable.” – Chris Tiegreen