Listening to the Living God
Published 12:55 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018
by William Sloan
What does the Bible say about listening to God? Moreover, is listening, or being attentive, a requirement to persevere in holiness and grow in the knowledge of Christ? Holy Scripture is eternally clear that humans must listen to the Living God and remain pliable to His Biblical wisdom.
Listening to the Sovereign God, who has breathed out and preserved the Holy Bible, is a practice requiring humility that enables humans to receive wisdom beyond their own. Humanity’s initial sin (i.e., the disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve) occurred as a result of their unwillingness to listen to the Father. At base level, their sinful pride manifested itself through the sinful action of not listening and being inattentive to the Lord’s authoritative command. In effect, when humans refuse to listen to the God who creates, saves and instructs them rightly, they remain in the sinful and reprobate condition, which initially caused the divide or chasm between them and their Father.
Holy Scripture is the articulated will of the Sovereign God, who is the eternal authority for all humans and grants us many examples detailing how the faithful must listen to the Father, Son and Spirit. For example, Solomon emphasizes the necessity of listening 16 times in Proverbs. Solomon’s instruction to listen is paternal in nature, meaning we as God’s children must listen to our Father, whose teaching is infallible.
Solomon maintains that listening to the Sovereign God will prevent chaos and renders the growth of insight and security (Proverbs 1:33). Moreover, Solomon maintains that humans must be attentive to and diligently implement the Father’s instruction to function per His design (Proverbs 4:1.)
Solomon will also write that humans must pursue wisdom daily by listening to the Living and Biblical God (Proverbs 8:32-34.) Moreover, Solomon writes that those who have heard and interiorized the wisdom of the Sovereign God should teach this wisdom in humility, and others must be attentive to it (Proverbs 12:15). Solomon contends that failing to listen to the Father’s wise instruction leads to ruin and incompletion as a human (Proverbs 5:13.) Per Solomon, listening to the God of the Bible is eternally requisite for humanity’s salvation.
Ezekiel is also an excellent example of listening to the Sovereign God. Ezekiel continually heeds the instruction of the Father and, moreover, shares His wisdom and instruction with many. For example, Ezekiel is sent by the Father to instruct a community existing in chaos due to sin and they, despite their pride, listen to Ezekiel, God’s priest (Ezekiel 3:6-7.) Ezekiel also writes that Israel’s unwillingness to listen to the Living God rendered communal problems and obstacles for Israel’s ability to function per His design (Ibid.) Ezekiel was a priest concerned with the detailed nature of the Godhead and was availed this knowledge by attentive and serious listening (Ezekiel 40:4.) Moreover, Ezekiel is instructed by the Sovereign Father to listen and “mark well” what is breathed out by Him (Ezekiel 44:5.) Ezekiel’s writings and experience are intense and rigorous, the Living God granted him specific and detailed objectives as he listened. The Sovereign God grants humanity Biblical instruction, Ezekiel is an exemplar of this vital work.
For additional examples, please read Exodus 3:18, 6:12 and 15:16; Deuteronomy 1:43, 5:27 and 9:19; Judges 11:17; 2 Samuel 20:17; 2 Kings 14:11; Nehemiah 9:30; Psalm 34:11; Jeremiah 37:2; Hosea 5:1; Mark 7:14; Luke 2:46; John 10:16; and Galatians 5:2.
In sum, listening to the Father, Son and Spirit are required for humanity’s progress in the Godhead’s infused grace. The Sovereign God has breathed out the Holy Bible, which is infallible. Humanity must listen attentively and implement its instruction. Listening to the God of the Bible is required for those in Christ.
REV. WILL SLOAN is the minister at Grace Memorial United Methodist Church in Sedley. Contact him at email@example.com