I am by far one of the worst listeners on this planet and I know it. I rarely listen in class. I don’t listen when people tell me things. I’ve mastered the art of tuning people out and doing the classic nod and smile in conversations. I’m pretty sure I’ve never listened to my parents and to be honest, I rarely listen to God.
I’m in my own little world 24/7 and hear me when I say I’m not celebrating this characteristic of mine. It’s gotten me in a lot of trouble, delayed hundreds of blessings and led to a world of hurt. Of course there have been some good things that come from not listening. Like not giving too much attention to people’s opinions or blocking out bad teachings.
But overall, I just don’t listen to anything or anyone. When the Lord tells me to do something, I intentionally do the opposite.
Two years ago the Lord called me to use social media as a platform for His truth. I tried for a little while, but chickened out. What if no one liked what I posted? What if no one read what I wrote? I’m not that great at photography and don’t do super cool things so I don’t have any good content to share. I don’t know the first thing about website design or how to start a YouTube channel. There’s a typo in at least everything I write that goes unnoticed for way too long. I’m not super artistic and I feel like an idiot when I use a bunch of hashtags.
I’ve deleted four Instagram accounts, two of which became fairly popular, gotten rid of all social media at least ten times in the last two years ago and convinced myself that God didn’t really want me using something as silly as Instagram a blog or YouTube to share His truth.
Honestly, I listen to the enemy more than I listen to God.
I’ve spent my three short years as a Christian trying to be someone I’m not. Going places I didn’t want to go. Being friends with people I could go my whole life without. Caring about things that don’t matter and spending way too much time, money and energy on being “cool”, whatever that means.
To be honest, I’m pretty afraid of listening to God. In theory, all the stuff He puts on my heart sounds awesome. But in reality, I’d rather just avoid any criticism or failure that could come along with it. What if I find the courage to start a YouTube channel and it fails? What if no one reads my blog? What if I don’t get as many likes as other people? What if I fail? Why would I put myself out there like that when I could be safe?
I mean, who wouldn’t want to avoid that?
When the Lord asks me to hang on and be patient, I rush and make things worse. When the Lord asks me to just trust in him, I find myself counting the reasons why I shouldn’t. I didn’t understand the Lord’s character and why He wanted me to do certain things which is what led to a lot of these problems.
The thing is though, is that the Lord and I have very clear and concise conversations so I know exactly what He wants me to do most of the time. It’s normally pretty well laid out for me. Unfortunately, I’m the most defiant person on this planet so I typically make things harder by trying to get around it and listening to myself instead and after I’ve failed and cried a million times, I start to listen.
For example, I’ve liked, dated and surrounded myself with people who weren’t pushing me towards the Lord because they were the type of people I pictured doing life with but I was uneasy the whole time. I’ve jumped into relationships because Gods path was too lonely and I didn’t feel like listening to this whole “wait for Gods best” thing. I’ve rushed things that I wasn’t ready for and ignored God when He told me to stop. I’ve taken jobs that were terrible because I was so convinced that my path was better. Ive been involved in more drama than I’ve ever wanted to because I wanted to be around the “popular” crowd. I’ve made friends with people who added no value to my life for the sake of looking cool because Gods path wasn’t “good enough”.
And it all came crashing down in due time. I felt lonely, empty, not good enough and by not listening, I became the worst person I’ve ever known because I kept trying to be who I was never supposed to be.
I’m not shocked that any of these things happened. I’m not going to play the “pity me” game. I know why this happened and it’s because I chose to not listen to the Lord and do the exact opposite of everything He told me to do. I chose to step outside of the Lords plan and do what I wanted instead. It’s my own fault.
Thankfully, we serve a God who is sweet, kind and patient with His children. We serve a God who will forever be smarter than all of us. We serve a God who loves us so much that no matter how many times we stray and choose to not listen, He will make sure that His will for us is done.
By choosing to not listen, I lost sight of who God made me to be. I ignored His plan, made my life harder than it had to be, met people who I was never supposed to meet, got stuck in terrible jobs and had a pretty lackluster college experience that I’m not going to be upset about leaving in May.
Maybe this is you. Maybe God is asking you to do things and you don’t want to listen to Him. Maybe He’s asking you to follow His plan for you and it doesn’t look as good as your plan so you don’t go. Maybe He’s asking you to put yourself out there on social media. Maybe He’s asking you to hold on and be patient. Maybe He’s asking you to let go of everything you thought you wanted. Maybe you feel like you haven’t listened in so long that there’s no point in starting because you’ve already missed out on too much. I get it, I do.
But it’s not too late to start. You can stop reading this right now and call out to God for help. You can dive deep into scripture and learn about the Lords character and the ways he instructs us. You can ask Him to break down the superficial or stubborn areas in your heart that stop you from listening to Him.The Lord is so sweet and forgiving and is probably sitting on His throne anxiously waiting for us to ask Him for help.
I know exactly what I would have done two years ago and I know that my life would be wildly different because of it. But I can’t go back. None of us can. But we can choose to listen now. We can choose to follow the Lord where He wants us to go and carefully listen to what He wants us to do.
I’m listening now and I don’t know what all that will entail and maybe you’re in the same boat. Even though it’s scary, just remember that the Lords will is good and perfect and anything He asks us to do will be for our good and His glory. We just have to listen.
All my love,