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192. When Listening is Hard

Posted by John Smith on July 25, 2014

Isaiah 7:4 MSG Tell him, Listen, calm down. Don’t be afraid. And don’t panic over these two burnt-out cases, Rezin of Aram and the son of Remaliah. They talk big but there’s nothing to them.

Listening requires more than just hearing what God says. Sometimes people genuinely try to listen and hear from God, they read the Word and pray but they just end up stuck on the cycle of worry. When fear and worry cling to us and attempt to penetrate our hearts we must do a little more than just pray and cry out to Him. We must listen. Listening to God requires us to let go of thinking about our fear when we come to Him.

In the 77th Psalm, Asaph was crying out to God and God heard him. He always hears us when we pray. Asaph knew to go to God in a crisis and was praying and speaking to God, yet he was still tormented with worry. The second part of verse 2 says that he spent a long sleepless night with his hand stretched out to God, yet “… (His) soul refused to be comforted.” When you read verses 2-3 together, it paints a picture of a long cycle of remembering the Lord, approaching Him and then grabbing a hold of the fearful and worrisome thought again. It goes on to say that Asaph also got caught up in complaining which is really meditating out loud on your worry and fear. It finally overwhelmed him.

I know that I’ve spent a few night calling out to God, reaching out to Him, yet found myself up most of the night worrying. Why? Because, although I was in the right place and my spirit was in contact with the Father, my soul (mind, will and emotions) wouldn’t turn loose and let go of thinking about what was going on.

Listening to God requires us to let go of our fear when we come to Him. If you could do anything about it you would have already. It is better off left with Him. Here are a few things to help you let go and listen.

1. Cast and Commit Decisively – You are going to have to make a mental decision to let go and not hold on to it.
2. Don’t let it Accumulate – Deal with little problems as they come. Turning them over to the Lord early will help keep your mountain from growing.
3. Don’t Borrow From Tomorrow – Don’t spend time worrying about what might happen. You will have problems in the future, but you don’t know exactly what they are. Don’t waste your time today on what you may or may not be faced with tomorrow. When they do come He will be with you to walk through them.
4. Yesterday Stopped Last Night – Whatever happened yesterday is over. Don’t let yesterday’s problems spill over into today.

The reason that listening to God is hard sometimes is because we make it difficult. Like Asaph we won’t let go of our worries and cast our cares on Him long enough to listen to His wise and glorious council or encouragement. When listening is hard, check to see if you are holding on to your worry and fear. Let go. Listen. Fear Not!

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