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Not Listening
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Honesty time: I’ve been a in a bit of a spiritual dry lately. An unsettling feeling of unfulfillment comes over me every time I leave church, Bible studies and required school worships. I leave thinking, “I learned absolutely nothing through this message.”

I think I can safely assume I am not the only Christian going through these unfulfilled feelings, this spiritual dry. When this happens, when we feel like we have sat through a sermon or a worship thought and learned nothing, we tend to quickly pass it off as “A badly delivered message,” or “Not enough relevance,” or “The speaker just wasn’t interesting.”

But, a couple of weeks ago as I stood from the pew after yet another unfulfilling worship, placing my Blackberry in my pocket, it hit me. How can I possibly expect to learn something, to be filled by the message, if I’m not listening? If I’m only half there, the other half in schoolwork or Facebook?

How can I possibly expect God to speak to me, if I’m just not listening?

Deeper Look

It’s very tempting to blame the atmosphere, the speaker or the message itself. But a deeper look may tell us that maybe we’re just not listening.

We seem to take the message for granted. We don’t realize that we are privileged, that it is a blessing to have someone open up the Word of God in front of us and teach us about it. The truth is that without a prepared heart, without help from the Holy Spirit, we are going to continue leaving worships and church without understanding, really understanding, a single thing that was said.  

1 Corinthians 2:14 says: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

The spirit cannot reach me with my cell phone on my lap as I scroll down reading Twi­tter feeds. The Spirit will not help me discern the message if my mind is somewhere else. I will continue feeling unfulfilled until I get my mind off  my schoolwork, and into the fact that something great is being read and explained right in front of me, and I’m taking it for granted. 

How can I expect to understand if my mind isn’t focused?

How can I expect to be blessed if I’m counting down the minutes until the message is over?

How can I possibly expect God to speak to me, if I’m just not listening?

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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