In this passage, the Prophet Isaiah seeks to comfort the people of Israel. So, he begins with a plea: If you want to pursue a good and holy life, then listen to me. Pay attention to the One from whom you were created, and to the wise patriarchs from whom your identity was shaped.

Isaiah’s words are poetic and beautiful, but what does it mean to listen to God? How might we listen to Him today?

Recently I chatted with experts in listening attentively and empathetically to callers who suffer from depression, loneliness, or various life hang-ups. I asked, “What does it mean to listen to God? More than that, how do we listen to God?” The responses came quickly:

  1. Get still, and undistracted.
  2. Pray and commune with God’s Spirit.
  3. Read the Word and consider its meaning for you.
  4. Seek counsel from godly people you trust.
  5. Spend time in the grandeur of creation.

As follow-up, I asked another question. “What gets in the way of listening to God these ways?” One person smiled and said, “Just ignore the list above!” Upon further reflection, others offered that hindrances included busyness, computer screen time, worry, and not planning to listen.

January falls on the heels of the busy holiday season. Perhaps it is time to pause, get quiet, and listen for God’s still small voice in silence of prayer, His Word, observing His creation, or in an intentional conversation with a respected and godly friend. But, if we do that, will we listen?

Dear God, thank you for your presence. May I take steps today to slow down, become aware of your prompting, meditate on your Word, and listen well to a wise person, so I may hear your voice of comfort and conscience. Amen.

Go Deeper This week, despite all the hustle of the season, take an hour to be quiet, read Scripture, take a walk, and pay attention to what God wants to tell you. Then write down what you hear.

Tags: Listen Isaiah 50
Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio