Don't Listen Too Much!
Recently, I wrote two different blog posts where I recommended a number of podcasts that are worth your attention. I pointed out how podcasts are such a wonderful thing available to us Christians because it enables us to listen at our own convenience to quality content from experienced and knowledgeable people. As a podcaster myself I enjoy this form of communication very much because it helps me to "radio" back from the mission field to our partners to keep them prayerfully engaged in the ministry, to exhort and encourage from the Word, and share about opportunities to serve. At the same time, however, it occurred to me today that there is a time when we can be listening too much.
Just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should. Just because we have great resources doesn't mean that we need them. The cost of listening too much can be that we are not listening enough to our Maker, Lord, and Savior. It could also mean that we are bogging ourselves down much... For the electrician to carry his entire tool box with him for every little job or repair when all he needed was his tool pouch would simply weigh him down and hinder his productivity. So it is with our listening. Too much listening is not always best...
As we live following Jesus Christ we all share common temptations. One of these Temptations, I believe, is that we can listen (and do) good things while failing to listen (and be) at the feet of our Master. I still recommend quality podcasts for spiritual nourishment. I'm still a big fan of podcasting. What I'm saying today is that we would do well to be mindful to keep the balance so as to make sure we prioritize quality quiet time (even during our commute) where we can meditate upon the Scriptures that we read in the morning, pray, and ponder our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. As we do this we are able to hear afresh from our Lord and Savior and walk in step with the Holy Spirit. He desires to direct our hearts and minds throughout our days. He is present as Lord, but also as our friend and shepherd. He yearns for our attention and undistracted devotion (1 Cor. 7:35).
I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
We are extremely blessed in our day and age to have such wonderful resources. I encourage you to listen to good podcasts and good sermons, but let me encourage you to be still and listen to Jesus Himself as you meditate upon the word of God throughout your day. Don't fall into the trap of listening to good things while failing to listen to the greatest thing, the One who is the Word made flesh. Don't fall into the trap of being drawn to the fancy and flashy things like podcasts and media and so on while failing to see the true beauty and splendor of the written Word of God, God's very own thoughts for us to behold. I encourage you today to keep the word of God your priority and to see and savor it for the great treasure that it is (Ps. 19:10).
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
And as you prioritize the word of God above all and you meditate upon the Scriptures and study the Scriptures I would urge you to try something that I have recently begun doing again - listening to the Bible. In the olden days, I would listen to it on cassette tapes in the car. Now, however, we have apps on our smartphones and we can have the word of God read to us free of charge. There is something special and something different about simply hearing the word of God read rather than sitting and reading it yourself. It's true that you may be distracted while you're moving around and listening to it, but it's also true that the simple saturation of the word of God entering your mind and heart has great benefits all of its own.
In times past, only the rich would be able to have servants come alongside of them to read for them. We are so blessed that we have countless servants at our disposal for free in our pockets on the device called the smartphone. Put that thing to good use dear friend, and let it serve you well!
Here is the app I am currently using - YouVersion