Words of Worth

“O” – He’s Listening

January 11, 2014

focusHave you ever been star struck? You know that feeling you get when you have a chance to be face to face with a favorite author or hero or artist? Even though you don’t know them personally, they have through words or actions influenced you in a way that changed your life forever.

It happened to me several years ago when I was invited to a very small gathering to meet and hear Kay Arthur from Precepts International. I was completely overwhelmed with the thought of being able to thank her personally for all her hard work through the years teaching people to study the Bible inductively. As the pop Christian music song goes, because of her, “I am a life that was changed.” Now I had a chance to tell her.

The venue was a hotel in western Pennsylvania and I arrived early to get a front row seat. (Nerdy? Of course! Ashamed? Not at all!) Until she got to the meeting room, I chatted with the other guests but my eye never left the door. And then, there she was! She was gracious and charming and she taught the few of us with the same fervor as if she were at a conference of 10,000. But here’s the thing: once she entered the room, I was completely aware of her very presence. Even after she finished speaking and spent some time mingling with the other equally star struck attendees, I stayed conscious of where she was, how she interacted, and what she said if I could overhear it.

You could say I was observing her presence.

O in our word FOCUS stands for “Observe His Omnipresence”.

The night I was star struck, my favorite Bible teacher’s presence filled the room but God is OMNIPRESENT. His Presence is around me (and you) all the time. He fills every room, every space throughout the world, all the time. But there’s more. He’s in the room with you and He’s LISTENING. When I began to practice FOCUS, after F – Forsaking all Distractions, I moved to O and here’s what I would say (and still say) every morning:

“Lord, you are in this room, LISTENING.”

That, my friends, was a game changer for me. I was familiar with omnipresence but to say out loud (yes, I say it out loud even though I am alone) “Lord, you are LISTENING”, moved me to a deeper place with Him.

God listens to His children. Astounding!

“I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard me out of His Holy Hill” Psalm 3:4

“As for me, I will call upon the Lord and He shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will pray and cry aloud and He will hear my voice.” Psalm 55:16-17

“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.” Psalm 116:1

But for me, when I think about God listening, my thoughts go toward Ecclesiastes 5:2 –

“Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth, therefore let your words be few.”

Observing God’s omnipresence slows down my mind and heart AND most importantly, my mouth. Approaching His throne fills me with such a sense of awe if I really stop to comprehend His Holiness and my unworthiness. And yet… He still listens to me.
To me! And to you….

For further thought: Practice saying out loud: “God you are in the room, listening.”
Be aware of how uttering these words make you feel. Do you sense His presence?

Spend some time in Psalm 34 and note how many times this passage mentions God hearing or listening.

Also mark verses from Psalm 34 that reference our speaking. Specifically “focus” on verses 12-14. Could there be a connection between seeing good (verse 12) and keeping our lips from evil (verse 13)?

How does the thought of God listening affect your ability to FOCUS on your time alone with Him? Does it change what you think or say?

Challenge yourself to observe His Omnipresence again later this day. Stop for a moment and say, “God, you are right here, LISTENING.” Make a note of what happens and ponder the implications of always being aware of His nearness to you. (ct)

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