There is a huge difference between listening and reacting. I can find far more examples in this world of people reacting and me reacting than I can of listening. The verse that came to me loud and clear today is from Psalm 81:13. “If my people would only listen to me…” I’ve said that! If people would only listen to me! And that’s a problem isn’t it? That’s me reacting and not listening.
Nine months into this daily Bible reading program, if I’ve learned anything from scripture it is that the people didn’t listen. Taking time to listen has hazzards. In the reading from Daniel, King Nebuchaddezar heard something he didn’t want to hear. In the reading from Revelation, the people heard what they hoped to hear but not how they hoped it would happen. If I react, I don’t have to listen and don’t have to face hearing what I don’t want to hear.
So let me finish the sentence from Psalm 81 (see how hard it is for me to listen to scripture before reacting to only part of the message): “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” God wants to work in my life. God wants to work for what’s best for me. The question for me is whether I will wait and listen long enough to allow God to do just that.
Today’s readings: Daniel 3-4; Psalm 81; Revelation 17