Listening With Purpose

12 Jan

I was challenged the other morning by Luke 5:1. In this verse we’re told the multitude was pressing around Jesus LISTENING to the Word of God. The word “listening” carries with it the thought of doing so with purpose – with determination, being intentional, seeking what makes one do what they do, receiving practical benefit or effect from (in this case) being around Jesus.

How can I listen to God’s Word with purpose? One way is to write down what God shows me from the Word. When I was a teenager in my home church back in Texas, our youth pastor challenged our group to start sitting up close to the front of the auditorium during the service and to take notes. The note taking became a habit for me and helped me concentrate on what was being taught. To this day I retain much more when I hear and see something on paper. I received a new journal for Christmas. I’m going to use it to write down what I hear from my daily and corporate time with the Lord so that I continue to listen with purpose.

Another way to be purposeful is to pass on what I learn. I enjoy writing. It gives me a way to organize my thoughts. It’s a way to express what God has taught me, and He encourages me all over again when I do it. Mostly, it’s a way for me to encourage others, which really excites me. Sharing one-on-one over a meal or coffee or by phone does this as well. The important thing for me is sharing His truth with others.

Perhaps the most important way for me to listen with purpose is to listen with application of God’s Word in mind. Years ago I was told that an application needs to be personal –What does this mean to/for me? It needs to be practical – What can I do specifically? Lastly, it needs to be possible – How can I know it’s accomplished?

A great tool for helping to guide my thinking toward application when I read/listen to the Word is an acronym called S.P.A.C.E. P.E.T.S., which gives basic questions that help put the personal, practical, possible within reach. These questions begin with “Is there a…

            S in to confess?

            P romise to claim?

            A ttitude to change?

            C ommand to obey?

            E xample to follow?

            P rayer to pray?

            E rror to avoid?

            T ruth to believe?

            S omething to praise God for?

I want to be like the multitude that pressed around Jesus, hanging on His every Word, because they knew it was the very Word of God He was sharing. I want to be intentional in my listening – whatever form that takes – be it hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, or meditating on the Word. I want to do those things with purpose.

Care to join me?

My thanks to the Navigators for the application thoughts, SPACE PETS questions, and hand illustration for intake of the Word. You should visit their website for additional tools for personal study and growth (navigators.org).

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One Response to “Listening With Purpose”

  1. Janice January 13, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks for writing this; “intentional” is a key word for me at this time, and I do want to be intentional in listening to His Word, with the intention of responding to Him. Again, thanks!

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