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Helping Our Hearing

This afternoon at a local bookstore, while I was writing, a young man at the adjacent table said, “Mom, I’ve already heard a lot about Jesus.”

Evidently, she was trying to persuade him – a young man in his late teens – that he need to go to church or youth group, or some event in order to hear more about Jesus.

Often when I fill pulpits or speak with groups large and small, I’m struck by the same reality this young man was struck with: Many people have heard a lot about Jesus. They really don’t need me to tell them some new detail about Him, or about their own lives relative to Him.

My wife, Stacia, and I were reflecting recently on a Samuel Johnson quote which says, “People do not need to be informed as much as they need to be reminded.”

I think that’s true, but I think there is something even more important.

What we really need

is not to hear about Jesus, 

but from Him

When I reflect on another Samuel while under the tutelage of Eli the prophet, I see an important step we often miss as communicators. Samuel thought Eli was calling him while he slept, and several times came to the aging prophet asking what he needed. Finally, Eli realized what God was doing with his young apprentice, and did the most amazing thing. He directed Samuel to turn His attention from his tutor to God Himself. (See 1 Samuel 3). Don’t miss the process: 1) Eli recognized what God was up to in the life of the disciple. 2) He equipped Samuel with readiness and responsiveness to God’s call. And 3) Samuel received it, was ready, and responded when God next spoke. The world has never been the same because of this equipping relationship. David himself was selected, anointed, and tutored – likely Goliath was slain, Saul was edified, even Christ foreshadowed and the temple built because Samuel was equipped to have a personal, responsive relationship with God himself.

Here are three ways we can deliberately reframe how we engage knowing more about Christ to know Christ more:

  • We all need to cultivate a personal relationship with The Shepherd, not just follow the herd.

>Where are you following someone – giving, serving, going, or leading – without seeking God in it first, and pursuing a deeper fellowship with Him through it?

  •  We need to learn His voice and learn to be responsive to His call, not just to the teachers and leaders He gives us.

>Where might you be applying teaching or training, but not focused primarily on engaging with God personally?

  •  We need to be quick to receive from Him and trust Him and be dependent on Him and build intimacy with Him, not learn something else about Him or even believe more about Him.

>Like Samuel, where do you need to be readily available – setting aside distractions from His voice? Like Eli – who can you encourage in their receptivity, readiness, and responsiveness in faith to our Father?

I sometimes tell folks they really don’t need to hear anything from me, but that they – and I along with them – need to hear from Him as He touches the tip of His healing finger to the very point of our pain, works through the friction points of our faith, and illuminates the hidden corners of our hearts.

As a communicator, a discipler, a teacher, a parent, or even as a spouse and friend, you often have the opportunity to speak into others’ lives…

My prayer for you and for me is that we remain mindful of the deep, consistent truth of their need: not for us, but for Him in that very moment. So that as we listen to Him and are attentive to Him, He might, on occasion use our availability to reach through our lives, our needs, our revelations, and even our struggles to touch them Himself.

 About the Author

Mike Q. Daniel helps equip others to experience & express Christ as Life by coaching pastors and ministry teams, speaking at conferences and retreats, conspicuously growing in grace as God leads. He lives and travels from San Antonio, TX with His wife Stacia, daughter Ashleigh, and dog Tozer (who has his name on many more books and articles than Mike). You can glimpse a window into his world online at MikeQDaniel.com and the Stone Ministries page at StoneLife.org.