The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 26

"Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word" (John 8:43).

Good communication is important. When things do not 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. So let's explore the other side.

An author 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 counsel, you need to be a good listener. Going 'for ministry', or reading the Bible more, will not of themselves bring about the desired change in your life. You must learn to listen.

Jesus was the master communicator. Yet we see that 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, so that they then had reason to reject what he said. He told them that they were not able to understand his speech because they were not able to listen to his word. The reason? They did not want to listen to the truth. And why not? Because it made them face up to the need for change. See the progression? Because they didn't listen they could not understand, and because they could not 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 cannot be a good follower if you are not a good 'listener'. Here's a simple formula: Listening = hearing + obeying.

If you feel God is getting through to you at last, it's not because He has developed better communication skills, but because you are now HEARING what he says (that is, you are WILLING to change).

Remember 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 station, you have got to eliminate all the other static in your life - especially rebelliousness to God's conviction of sin and to his correction in your life. Are you blame-shifting? Are you indulging in self-pity? Are you refusing to let go of the past? Start LISTENING!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues