Talking is only one component of communication. Hearing, listening and understanding create words that have substance. Talking without listening is nothing more than verbal vomit. The Bible has much to say about our mouths and the words that pour out of them. God gave humanity the privilege of talking so that we could communicate His glory to others!
Our heart determines what comes forth; God wants the words to flow from our “new heart” not our “fleshly heart.” Words from His heart are always words of love and life. Real communication is the same. Babies learn to talk by listening. In fact, the way they speak—their literal words and the heart of their speech–will imitate those they hear most often. Behavioral experts recommend parents build quiet time into their speaking and singing times with babies. Even sounds of life must be followed by time for absorption. That is true in our spiritual walk as well.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2
Noise is all around us. Words come at us. Our physical surroundings and circumstances speak to us. Following the example of the Psalmist is critical. Calming and quieting our soul—our mind, will and emotions—allows us to hear the Father. Spiritual babies cannot do that. Many Christians never leave infancy. Far too many Christian adults live as “double-minded” men, driven by their flesh but pulled by the Spirit. One of the clearest revelations is in our words. Blessings and curses pour forth from the same mouth—and that ought not to be! (James 3:11)
Like babies, we must learn to listen—and discern the voice of the Father in the midst of the clamor. Ill health is our body telling us that it is not at peace. Emotional unrest is another sign of disharmony with the Holy Spirit. Circumstances are tools of life that stress our bodies and souls to help us learn to hear the Lord. Only when we learn to listen can we speak the words of the Father. The place to hear from the Father is in His Word. Time with Him is quiet time. Walking out what you read is practicing speech. Both are necessities.
Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah received an amazing promise from God: “I will put my words in your mouth.” Jesus taught that His followers can expect the same—when we allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us. Restraining our souls is a critical component of quality communication. When we hear from the Father, through the Spirit, our lives reveal the beauty of the Father. Listening and living out what we hear makes us tools of communication for the Father.
Not everyone experiences the joy that comes from listening to God. For those who do, God has another desire: we will learn to communicate how to listen to others. We do that the same way we learned to hear Him. We listen to the lives of others and help them hear Him. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. Then, we take others to the Word for the answers He wants them to have. Our souls must be restrained as we communicate with others. They do not need to hear from us; they need to hear from the Father.
It is an immense privilege to listen to the King. How are you sharing that privilege with others?