How well do you listen? Do you retain what you hear? Can you hear something being said and remember it? Do you hear instruction and know how to apply it in your life? Have you tried to be better at listening and applying?
We are inundated with new information every day. It may come to us verbally from someone we know or while watching the news. We may read information in books, newspapers, or on our computer or phone. We must filter and determine what to do with it all.
The information we hear or read is filtered into two basic categories—useful or not useful. Of course, those two categories are often replaced by two more desirable categories—those we are interested in and those we are not. Notice the difference? We often trade what is useful for what we are interested in. We translate our interests into being useful, which is not always the case.
We can argue about why we do this, but it all boils down to one core reason—we are being fooled. The devil entices us to be selfish, lures us away with shiny objects, hooks us with addictions, and generally pulls us away from what is most useful. His sole purpose is to keep us from learning more about God. Don’t think it is true? Take a look at what you spend your time doing. Log the time you spend watching television, what you are looking at on your computer or phone, and what types of books you read. How much of it is furthers your knowledge of God?
Jesus explains this in the parable of the sower as the seed that falls along the path. The devil snatches it away or squashes it, much like a boot might pick up the seed or trample it so that it won’t sprout. Satan’s desire to keep us from believing God, believing in Jesus Christ, and from being saved. Unfortunately, we see him being far too successful.
What can we do? We can consciously spend more time reading God’s Word, reading books by trusted Bible scholars or Christian authors, and listening to trusted Bible teachers and preachers. The more we put God’s Word and teaching into our minds and hearts, the better we can identify the distractions and avoid them.
I pray we all spend more time with God’s Word. I pray we spend time feeding our minds with God’s teaching. I pray each one of us will decide to be the seed that fell on good soil. Read God’s Word. Read trusted Christian authors. Spend time listening to God’s Word. Choose what you feed your brain wisely. Don’t be fooled. Trust God.
Luke 8:11-12 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”