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Who Are You Listening To?

Have you ever felt like a church sermon was made for you? You know, when the pastor seems to be speaking directly to you? 

It’s like God’s giving you a sly wink, reminding you that He knows all of your thoughts, all of your struggles. And that He cares… so much so, that He’s inspired the speaker to say exactly what you needed to hear. 

Well, God did that for me this past Sunday. 

You see, every Sunday morning, my Bible time focuses on reading Proverbs. I don’t know why, but I feel like studying the book of wisdom is a great way to start the week. Plus, it gets me in a learning-focused headspace for church. 


But I digress. Because why I read from Proverbs is not nearly as important as what I was reading: 

God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to him” (Prov 28:9). 

In case you’re curious, that’s the Message version, and wow, does it pack a punch. 

Immediately, God convicted me of not listening. Of praying and hoping and complaining to Him… but not living out His answers. 

How often do we pray for something, but not use the resources He’s given us? Not believe and receive the Truth that He has spoken to us? 

For me, this usually revolves around fear. 

I start the morning praying that He quiets the anxiety, sometimes begging that He’ll relinquish the hold fear can have on me. I ache to be free of the manic routines and schedules and what ifs that seem to never cease. 

But, what do I do after my Bible time? 

I start the day, looking at the clock five thousand times to make sure I’m not a minute late for my made-up deadline (because let’s be honest, if I get to the gym ten minutes later, what’s the harm?). 

I check my phone every few minutes because maybe, just maybe, the guy I’m ‘on a break’ with will reach out today. 

I scheme and strategize throughout the day, one foot in the reality in front of me, and the other in my head. Practicing or reviewing conversations I’ve had. Thinking about my to-do list for the gazillionth time. Wondering how I will control everything when I feel so out of control. 

I could go on. But I think you get where I’m going with this. 

Sure, I can pray that God will snap His fingers and zap all anxiety out of my life. But, more often than not, our Potter will choose to mold us, transform us, patiently and slowly. 

After all, trials produce perseverance, character, hope, and Godly surrender… much more than quick fixes ever could.

So friends, we may ask God for things, but are we listening to His responses? Are we fixing our eyes on Him, the Author and Perfector of our faith… or are we falling back into our worldly ways as soon as we say amen

I know how I’d answer that. Which is why, when my pastor decided to teach about unbelief and complaining, I couldn’t help but think, oh yeah, that’s for me!

I won’t go into the whole sermon, but I’ll highlight this: 

The things we complain about are the things we don’t trust God with, the areas where we say He isn’t good enough. 

(Let that sink in for a second, okay? Reread it, even.)

Now, I think this idea is spot on. You know why? Because what do I complain and grumble and groan about on a daily (if not hourly) basis? 

My schedules. 

Being behind schedule. Or ahead. Because I need to know why I’m ahead so I can replicate it for the future.

Or when circumstances and people mess up my precious routines. Because keeping those routines is what I anxiously wrestle with the most. Probably my biggest fear focus, at the moment. 

When I heard those words from my pastor, combined with the verse from Proverbs, I couldn’t help but feel clarity. 

Why have I been feeling so off lately? Because I’ve been praying but not listening. Grumbling instead of praising. What-ifing (yes, I just made that a verb) instead of even-ifing. 

How can He free me from the chains of fear if I never stop listening to its lies instead of His Truth

Friends, we need to intentionally and actively choose to trust and believe His words. His Truth that says...

Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

I will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 

You are My masterpiece. You are mine

When you walk through the waters, I will be with you. Fire shall not consume you.

Nothing will separate you from My love. 

Those are the words we need to listen to. Not ours. Not fear’s. His. Praying and praising and pursuing our great Prince of Peace… day after blessed day. 


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