I sit in my living room with the TV muted, music lightly playing in the background, while I listen to my children play in the backyard. Laughter colliding with tears. Arguments birthed from an adolescent attempt at compromise. Who would have thought playing in the backyard could be so life threatening. I turn to mommy as she cooks dinner and say, “Honey, could you remind the boys to be kind?” I slip into a musical trance interrupted by mommies voice. She lovingly breaks through the holocaust, gets her boys attention, and says, “boys, do you remember what your Father asked you to do? Listen to your Father.” More times than not, we’re just like my boys. We know what’s right. The way to act. How to compromise without conflict. Yet we neglect to remember. We forget, overlook, or abandon our Heavenly Father’s words. We don’t listen to our Father.
In Micah 6:8 He remind us: “the Lord requires you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In 2 Peter 1:3-9 We are reminded to “make every effort to supplement our faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are ours and are increasing they will keep us from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we lack things we are blind and shortsighted and have forgotten the cleansing of our past sins.”
We have a listening problem. The only way to overcome this problem is to exercise the R3 Listening Technique: 1) Reflect on what we’ve been told, 2) Respond to God’s instructions, and 3) Renew our pursuit of God.
R3 LISTENING TECHNIQUE
REFLECT ON WHAT WE’VE BEEN TOLD
God has given us a clear picture through the Word and Man, Jesus Christ. We are without excuses. Everything needed for redemption is clear if we are willing to reflect. Those that want to see and hear must take time to reflect. Stop, slow down, and reflect.
RESPOND TO GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS
After reflecting we are left with a choice. We can sit and talk about days past, or we can act upon what God’s word calls us to be, Christlike. Each of us can be more Christlike. Responding to God’s world gives the Spirit of God the freedom to transform our character. He is given permission to shape us into the image of Christ.
RENEW OUR PURSUIT OF GOD
Each of us have our own pursuits, but the only good pursuit should bring us close to God. Pursuing God brings clarity to the meaning of life and gives purpose to the mundane.
When we reflect on what we’ve been told, respond to God’s instructions, and renew our pursuit of God we stop looking around and we fix our affections on a God that has fixed his affections on us. This is not an exception. This should be normal Christian life. So what does that practically look like?
Characteristics of a Normal Christian Life (Blackaby)
1. Intimate Fellowship with God
2. Joy in God’s Presence
3. A Sense of Peace
4. A Holy Life
5. A Sprit-Filled Life
6. Recognizing God’s Voice
7. Filled with the Fruit of the Spirit
8. Experiencing God’s Power
What characteristics of God’s ideal do you sense you are lacking?
What can you do personally to bring needed change?
R3 LISTENING TECHNIQUE EXERCISE
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
What four things does God require of His people before He will revive them?
When God’s people meet His requirements, what three things does God promise to do?
What does God want to do in and through you receive God’s promise?
Pray that God strengthens you, equips you, and prepares you to allow His Spirit to transform you into the Christian that God sees.