More times than I can count, my wife and I have disciplined our three-year-old for not listening to us. Of course, when parents speak of listening, they don’t mean simply hearing and comprehending our words. There is an implied result of this hearing.
Listening to Daddy means hearing Daddy and doing what he says. The proper action is assumed to follow – so much so that listening and obeying are used interchangeably.
The Old Testament concept of hearing was similar. To hear the word of the Lord was not simply just to comprehend the words; there was implied action.
I think there’s profound beauty in that idea.
Action is what really matters.
If God has convicted you of a particular sin or given you a particular calling, action is assumed. If you have a goal and haven’t taken action, you aren’t serious.
We talk big about getting the proper amount of rest.
Or exercising and eating well.
Or reading the Bible daily.
Or taking time to intentionally build relationships.
Or spending quality time with our children.
Or volunteering for that ministry.
But unless we’re regularly taking action on moving those goals forward, then how can we say we’re being obedient? Hearing God means action, not endless planning or merely good intentions.
Take it from someone who’s been there often: If you find yourself constantly in planning mode – or “I’ll start that tomorrow, honestly” mode – then here are two questions you need to answer.
1. What are you going to do today to move forward?
2. What are you going to do tomorrow?
Then do those things and ask yourself those same two questions tomorrow.
You can start small. If your goal is to read your Bible daily, just read two verses today. Or pick out the bible you’re going to read. Something, anything. Get the ball rolling.
Remember to go ahead and commit to what you’ll do tomorrow as well. This way, you keep your momentum up.
I’m all for planning. I love scheduling. There’s tremendous benefit in sitting down and mapping out how we’re going to achieve our goals and objectives. But sometimes analysis turns into paralysis.
I know, because I’m guilty of this. Tomorrow seems like a better day to start, I still want to learn some more things, and on and on. But after a while, it starts to become apparent that things aren’t going anywhere and it’s time for a different approach.
At times like these, we need to boil down everything down to the simplest terms.
Do something today. Seriously. Today.
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