ATTENTIVELY HIS

My newly-turned-sixteen-year-old daughter sat beside me in the passenger seat while I drove her to school in the darkness of early morning. She exudes joy regardless of the time of day, while I am decidedly not a morning person. My girl loves nothing more than riding in a car, windows all the way down with wind blowing her long hair, singing at the top of her lungs to the latest pop song. In a rare moment when she’s not bubbly, an upbeat song will instantly transform her mood.

This particular morning, she sweetly asked, “Mom, can we listen to some music?” I answered, “Of course! You pick,” and instantly the sounds of an angst-ridden, yet sassy twenty-something-girl completely flooded the vehicle’s interior. All of ten seconds later, she dove into a story about a class project she’d been working on and how she was feeling about it, and I instinctively turned the volume down so I could hear her better. A disappointed glance escaped her face before she could prevent it, but she continued talking to me. I knew she wanted to listen to music, but I wanted to hear every word she was sharing with me. I didn’t want to be distracted.

Have you ever stopped to think about how God listens to us? Or how we listen to Him? Scripture says He hears us.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17

In addition to hearing us, God’s word also says that He responds.

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.

Psalm 10:17

Have you considered your posture as you listen to God? Do you intentionally turn down all the noise around you so you can hang on His every word, as I did in the car with my daughter? Do you free your hands from distractions, or place a pen and sheet of paper nearby so you can remember His words? Do you give Him your full attention?

Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 31:12

Do not forget the jealousy of our God. He doesn’t want to share your affection and attention with other things. That’s numero uno in the Ten Commandments, after all.

When we enter into quiet time, prayer, or study time with the Lord, we are entering a sacred space with the God of the universe. Turn off the TV. Silence your phone. Quiet your mind. Get still. Slow your breathing. Give Him all the attention He is due. God could not care less where we seek Him, only that we do seek Him.

Attentively His,

Nicki

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This was a modified excerpt from a chapter of Nicki Dechert Carlson’s book, Grace-Faced, which is currently available in e-formats and will release in paperback and hardcover on Nov. 29th. You can follow her at nickicarlson.com.

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