Are You Afraid To Listen?

facing fearThe guy at the retreat answered a question about fear in a brutally honest manner. “I’m afraid if I really listen to God, He might tell me to do something I don’t really want to do.”

Lots of folks grumble that God never speaks to them. What if the real problem is that we’re afraid to listen? What if we intentionally keep God at a distance to avoid disrupting our self-created illusion of security?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I.
Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Most of the guys around the fire that night agreed. We seek to serve—when it’s convenient, when it fits into the schedule. We’d love to serve or do a mission trip, but that vacation gets in the way. We want to finish well—but we need to guard the 401(k).

What if we want to follow—on our terms?

What if we’re not-so-secretly afraid that Jesus was serious when He said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

What if our efforts to follow Jesus in a safe, sanitary manner actually cause us to avoid God because we’re afraid of what He might say?

Are you ever afraid God might ask you to do something you don’t want to do or give up something you really want to hang on to? What are those times/things for you?

What are some of the excuses we use for not listening?

How do you know if it’s God’s voice or your own wishes?

Often we think of “being sent” in terms of big stuff like going to Africa (or doing a bike tour). What are some more everyday circumstances where God might send us if we’d listen a bit more closely?

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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