Another key component of clarity is listening to God. As Michele said in a previous post, sometimes it is easy to get so busy doing things for God that we are too distracted to listen to God. Our Lord is a God who constantly communicates with His people. He spoke creation into existence and continues to speak to us through His world. He sent the prophets to tell the people His what He wanted them to hear. We have His written word, the Holy Scripture and finally He sent Jesus, the Living Word.
The Bible has a lot to say about listening and hearing. I’ll give you a few examples:
“This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased: listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5 (God’s words about Jesus)
“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:37 (Jesus speaking to Pilate)
“So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (the apostle Paul writing to the Christians in Rome)
We are instructed to listen, and to listen particularly to the words of Jesus. In order to do this we must of course, study the Scripture; but in addition, we must read the Scriptures prayerfully. We must hear not only what the God’s Word said to the people at the time it was written, we must hear what it is saying to US and what it is saying TODAY.
Of course, there are many ways to listen. One simple way is prayer. To do this, our prayer life should not always be words and asking; we need to make time for silence and waiting. This is often when God speaks.
We can listen to the advice of others we know to be godly, those who are more experienced in the faith: this could be your Pastor, a mentor, a spiritual director, or even the members of your small group. The Quakers actually have a tradition called a “clearness committee”– a group that assembles to help a member listen for God’s will by meeting, praying and asking questions.
Certainly every one of us should be listening in our church services every week — the Word of God as spoken in the readings, the sermon or even the hymns may be God’s special Word to you. Don’t miss it!
If you’re seeking clarity, keep listening. Not in a vacuum. Pray, study, worship. Test your answers against Scripture and in the company of others.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15