Thursday, August 3 – Acts 28:25-27
And when they disagreed with one another, they began leaving after Paul said one parting statement: “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing, and will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, and will not perceive; for the hearts of this people have become insensitive, and with their ears they hardly hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.”’
It’s easy to appreciate a good listener, but it is harder to be a good listener. We usually know how we want to respond before the other person finishes his or her sentence. We still need Paul’s words from the Old Testament to the Jewish leaders today. A changed heart will listen to God. We may check the boxes of religion like attending church, small group, praying, or even reading our Bible, but we will always miss the point if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to constantly convict our hearts and open our eyes to where we seek our way over His.
God will heal those who listen. He will restore the broken. He will be faithful. The question is, will we be people who seek His healing, search for His answer, and listen to His call? Or will we, like the Jewish leaders, follow our own way? James 1:21-22 says, “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves.” God calls us to receive His Word in humility, continually being transformed by it and living it out. When His transformational work is evident in us, we can be effective in the words we say about Christ and the life we live in Him.
- Where do you struggle to listen to God? How likely are you to have your mind made up before even seeking His wisdom on a given matter?
- What is the danger in believing we know better than God when it comes to how to live our lives?
- Pray and ask God to open your eyes to areas where you are merely a hearer and not a doer of the Word.