are-you-listening

When I was pregnant with our eldest daughter, I can vividly remember craving oranges, and my doctor said it was my bodies way of telling me I needed vitamin c.

There are many times when not just our bodies, but also our mental, emotional and spiritual lives will tell us what we need and what will bring us most joy, if we are in tune and quiet enough to listen. However its when we fall into the trap of constantly being too busy, rushed, not taking the time to deal with issues in our life, and never having any quiet moments that will cause us to miss what is being clearly said. If we allow ourselves to get into the habit of living out of sync with who we are and what we need, eventually something is going to break, start screaming and need urgent attention.

Over the years I’ve been as guilty as anyone else of not listening enough, and of striving, stressing and pushing myself because I know I am capable of tackling the task before me. But I’ve discovered, often the hard way, that just because I can do something, or even because it needs doing, does not mean God wants me to do it.

God says, “He has planned good works in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10) and the key to walking in those God ordained good works is to be tuned in to what He is telling us, and not just feeling pressured by our own or others expectations. It’s also learning to be sensitive to our bodies, our emotions and the thoughts we are thinking, so as to hear when there is a need or issue in our life that needs addressing.

It’s in disciplining ourselves to stop and listen, rather than waiting until we are faced with a massive drama through such things as sickness, relationship breakdowns, financial pressures, anxiety, nervous complaints, or finding ourselves in a spiritual “hole”, because we’ve failed to listen and act.

God promises He will lead and guide us into fullness of life, and that He gives us everything we need. He speaks and directs, and He’s created our whole being to signal us when we are out of step with what is healthy and beneficial. The question is “are we listening?”

As the saying goes, “a stitch in time, saves nine”, meaning it is better to act and deal with issues rather than leave or ignore them. The problems only get worse, or take longer to deal with anyway. If we are listening many issues can be avoided or dealt with before they have a chance to cause a drama.

Today, hit the pause button and schedule in some time to listen; to listen to God, to His word, to the quality of your own thoughts, to your loved ones, and to where you are at physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Make a decision to deal with issues, to take time out, to care for your health, your inner world, and your relationship with Jesus and others. Your “future self” will thank you for it.

Prayer: Lord help me to stop and listen. That I would hear you speaking, as you guide my steps. Please help me to be more in tune with my own body, and with my own emotional, mental and spiritual health. Give me wisdom, and help me to be self disciplined so I can run my race well with you. In Jesus name Amen

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