Thursday, March 13, 2014

Listening Ears

On Wednesday nights I help in the preschool class at our church. Today the children were learning about Psalm 23 and we read a book called The Lord is my Shepard. It is a staple story in the Bible, especially for children. These 3-5 year old kids all understood how to care for a sheep. You feed it, give it water, and look after it. Very basic needs.

We then discussed how God provides for us. God protects and leads us like a good shepherd. A good shepherd tends to his flock asking them to follow him.

Now I found this lesson just a bit ironic as a parent volunteer. While we were preparing for our craft I asked several times for the kids to put on their "listening ears" for their teacher. For the record, my own child was definitely included in this group. I had to smile and laugh because we were teaching a lesson about following our shepherd and listening. And hey we needed practice at it!

This really reminded me of how I also don't listen very well. I tend to do most of the talking in my relationship with Jesus. I forget to listen and I miss out sometimes on where Jesus is calling me. Where God is calling me. It is very hard at times to get rid of all the noise blocking out what God needs and wants us to do.

This thought really reminded me of where Jesus tells us to follow him and listen to his teachings. In John 10 verses 2-4 we see Jesus telling us to follow his voice.

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them,
and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

 Jesus tells us here that not only does God know and see us each individually for what special person we are, but also that he will lead us. We all have a special and unique calling by God and when we follow Jesus we are led to God. Jesus is our shepherd because he shows us the way to live life.

It is hard to listen. Especially when we aren't sure we have all the answers and when we have doubts. These cloud our decision making process and challenge us. They make it harder to discern where God is calling us.

However, we can put on our listening ears. And then we can hear God's call for us.

Prayer and a relationship with Jesus help us find the answers we are seeking. These answers are found with God. We are not led astray when we follow Christ! Listening is a hard thing to practice for sure, but this scripture offers us hope that we can and will get it right. It just takes a little practice.

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