I have been meditating on listening recently! Listening! What a great art! By the way it is a Biblical art! What about listening to God? What about listening to those who give wise counsel? Proverbs 19:20, Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. I pray about certain situations and people all the time as I ask God what he wants me to pray about and how he wants me pray. Some people sadly never listen and chaos follows their lives. Others listen to wise counsel and God blesses their lives. I had someone say to me recently, “Pastor I listened to your counsel and it worked just like you said it would.” It has been my experience that the people who live for their lusts, make poor decisions, push back, are argumentative, and never stop to ask God the question, should I be listening here, really struggle. They are generally just not joyous people. Always in conflict and being negative. We find that all the time in our Biblical counseling program. Sadly, real hurt and disaster come to those who will not listen.
This past week as I have prayed about certain situations and people, there are times when God really speaks to me about people and leads me to speak to them. When God does that I always encourage the person, it is very important that you listen here and be open to what God wants within this situation. God has something for you! My experience in this is when they do not listen God allows things in their lives that are designed to really bring them to the point of listening. He knocks them down! Through Hope Biblical Counseling Center, many people who contact us do not understand the importance of listening. Their interest is to have someone to listen to their scenario, without a desire to really take the counsel to change anything. They wish to have someone wallow with them in their sins.
Failure to listen and make wise spiritual choices is a very important part of walking with God. Do you know there are 137 verses in the Bible talking about counsel? Many of those are connected to listening to wise counsel or the destruction that happens when people do not listen. Psalm 73:24, Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. This is the promise of God. Question is how are you going to be guided by God’s counsel if you never listen? Serious question. Proverbs 12:15, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth (truly listens) unto counsel is wise. There are many foolish people out there who just do not listen. We rejoice in those that do and that we are able to help. I know we cannot help everyone and especially those who have a prideful predisposition to not listen.
Proverbs 13:10, Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Carnal people show their lack of spiritual and emotional maturity and their decisions show where they are spiritually. That is one of the reasons we have a Biblical Counseling/Discipleship program. We can help those who listen and will apply! God wants us to help them! We cannot help those who do not. I am rejoicing today over the folks in our church and Hope Biblical Counseling Center who are listening and moving spiritually forward! It is a great blessing to see that happen. Folks, be careful what you hear and what you listen to!
However, many people just do not listen and their choices lead to destruction in their lives. Proverbs 13:13-16, Whoso despiseth (does not give proper attention to) the word shall be destroyed): but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (14) The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (15) Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. (16) Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool(those who do not listen) layeth open his folly. I recently had the sad duty to listen to a person tell me of a disaster with their children which I knew was coming. A few years back, I told the person this is what you need to do here. They did not listen and later they failed to listen on a series of other events. Sadly their children are now in destruction. It was all caused by a lack of willingness to listen and apply wise counsel. Pride issues always cause people not to listen.
Many people do not give wise counsel and are not capable of giving God’s counsel because they are unwilling to fully submit themselves to God. Isaiah 30:1, Woe to the rebellious children,saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, (fake it until you make it, not real) but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That is a powerful verse that speaks volumes of truth. The life just continues to make poor non listening choices.
Listening to counsel from a person who is not submitted to God always leads the person who listens into making poor spiritual decisions themselves. James 4:7, 10, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Humble (submit) yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
May God help us to learn to listen today! Proverbs 8:32-35, Now therefore hearken (listen) unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. (33) Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. (34) Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (35) For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.