"Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say” (John 8:43)
Good communication is always important. When things don’t happen as planned…when the leader's wishes are not carried out precisely...when the father's instructions are not obeyed implicitly...when the pupil does not benefit from the teaching - we often put it down to bad communication. And, more often than not, the blame is laid squarely on the communicator. Let’s think about that.
Someone once wrote, "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant".
Good communication is a two-way affair; it is more than good speaking; it also involves good listening. If you want to benefit from God's teaching and instruction, then you need to be a good listener. Just wanting to do things for God, will not of themselves bring about the desired change in your life. You must learn to listen!
Jesus was the master communicator. And yet He was often misunderstood. Even though He spoke the truth clearly, His hearers jumbled up His message. They interpreted what He said according to their own desires, or their own experiences, and that gave them reasons for rejecting what He said. Jesus said they were not able to understand because they were not able to listen to His word (John 8:43). The real reason actually was that they didn’t want to listen to the truth. You see, God’s truth made them face up to the need for change. Do you see the progression in this? Because they didn't listen they couldn’t understand. And because they couldn’t understand they rejected what was spoken. And because they rejected what was spoken, change became impossible. It's not that they hadn't heard; they had simply refused to listen.
You can’t be a good follower if you are not a good 'listener'. Here's a simple formula that will perhaps help you to remember: LISTENING = HEARING + OBEYING.
When you come to that place of feeling that God is finally getting through to you, it's not because He has developed better communication skills; it’s because you are now HEARING what He has to say.
Remember, though, that the opposite is also true. If you find yourself distanced from God, it's probably because you have stopped listening. Be careful! If you want to tune in to a clear message on God's radio, you have got to eliminate all the other static in your life - especially rebelliousness to His desire to direct you. It’s time to start LISTENING!