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How Well Do I Listen?

Wesley. He’s our dog now that Bo is gone. Bo was the epitome of “Take it slow and easy.” Wesley is the epitome of “Let us then be up and doing.” When I really want to impress Wesley with what I’m trying to communicate to him, I’ll have him “sit,” and then I’ll take his head in my hand, look him directly in the eye and say, very slowly, “Do you understand what I’m saying to you?”

I wonder if God ever wants to do that with me?

Think about Psalm 73:23 -24(a): Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel. . .. (TLB).

So, God, what are You saying to me? What am I supposed to hear?

“I am always with You”

Do I really believe this? Do I walk in this? Am I consciously aware that everywhere I go I am in His presence-in the car on the way to town; walking the dog; sitting at my desk; at the supper table? I am always with You. If I accept this as truth, then I won’t ever, ever consider Him to be not listening, not interested, somewhere far away where I have to concentrate to get in touch with Him or isolate myself to be with Him. Never will I have to do this. The teaching that tells me I have to implore God to listen, to beg God to intercede, to inform Him of my problems pales in the light of His constant presence with me-always.

“You hold me by my right hand”

This makes it even more incredible. But how can He be holding my right hand and Bill’s right hand at the same time? Or holding my hand and a missionary’s hand in the deepest jungles of Africa? I don’t have to understand-I must just believe. Right? So not only is He with me, but He is so involved in all that I do He is actually holding me by my right hand.

Why my right hand and not my left? Most people are right-handed. That means we lead with this hand, it’s our “doing” hand; it’s my emphasis hand; I’d be terribly frustrated without the use of my right hand! Now, if He is holding that hand with which I do everything-be it my right or my left-then all I can do is discuss with Him my plans, then let Him do it. I can’t. I’m incapacitated!

“You guide me with Your counsel”

Isaiah 1:18: God says, “Come over here and sit down. Let’s talk this over together.” That’s one of the most amazing verses in the Bible! “Let’s reason together.” Imagine! Someone whose I.Q. is infinity wants to “reason” with me!

Someone constantly holding my “doing” hand knows everything that I do. If I were with a peer, we would no doubt spend a lot of time expressing our opinions, trying to sway each other to our way of thinking, and probably arguing. But it is God: Omniscient! And He is there to counsel me. I guess you could draw the image of me dragging Him along (He’s still holding my hand) on ventures of my own choosing. Complete the image, however. I’d hit the inevitable “brick wall.” Of course, He would be there to “pick up the pieces,” to brush me off and tend my wounds. How long would it take me to learn what a mess I would make using my wisdom-dragging Him on my route instead of following Him on His.

Reflection:

Oh, He is so wise! Why in the world do I insist on doing things my way when He has given me this beautiful promise? Do I really listen to what He says to me?

Picture this: He has asked you to sit down. Then, he takes hold of your chin and says, “Now look directly into My eyes. I’m talking to YOU. Listen to Me. I am always with you. I will never leave you on your own. And I am holding your right hand which means that you are going to have to let Me do this. I will give you My counsel as we go. We will talk about options, opportunities, and unexpected results. Do you understand what I am saying to you?”

I’m sorry, Lord. I hear what You’re saying to me now. I guess I just wasn’t listening very well a while ago.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.