Hear God: Eliminate the Distractions
By Rick Warren
— March 11, 2011
“Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it.” Luke 8:7 (MSG)
"If you are always on the go and you can't hear God, you are facing the barrier of busyness."
You can’t hear God when your mind is crowded with thoughts, worries, fears, and plans, or if you always have the radio or TV on. And if you constantly have your phone against your ear, when God calls all he gets is a busy signal!
All of these distractions are what Jesus was referring to in Luke 8 when he talked about the seed falling in the weeds. Today’s verse says those weeds grew with the seed and strangled it.
Now notice that this scenario is a little bit better than the shallow soil because the seed actually sprouts and grows. But the weeds choke it out so it never bears fruit. So many people hear God speak, but as they go on their way, life’s worries, riches, and pleasures choke them, so they never mature.
If you are always on the go and you can’t hear God, you are facing the barrier of busyness. Often we confuse busyness with productivity and they aren’t the same thing. If you keep going, going, going but you aren’t spiritually growing, growing, growing, you are busy, not productive.
Jesus says distractions are like weeds that grow up in your mind and heart, just as weeds grow in a garden.
There are three types of weeds that will keep you from hearing God’s voice:
Worries – The Greek word for worry is merinma, which means “pulled in different directions.” When you are pulled in different directions, you are worried. And when you are worried, you can’t hear God.
Riches – You can be so busy making a living, trying to make money to pay the bills and get out of debt that you can’t hear God.
Pleasures – God gives you pleasures, and they are a good thing. But you can get so busy pursuing pleasures and fun that you forget to pursue God as well.
How much effort does it take to grow weeds? None. Weeds are a sign of neglect. When you neglect your time with God, the weeds start to grow in your life. In order to overcome the weeds, you must learn to overcome your preoccupied mind.
First Kings 19:12 says that when God spoke to Elijah, it wasn’t in a wind or earthquake or fire; it was in a gentle whisper. If you want to hear God whisper to you, you have to be quiet.
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