Have you ever stood with your ear pressed up against a door? It was almost as if you were holding your breath at the same time in order to hear the conversation on the other side. Your rapid heartbeat matched the desire to know what was going on. You barely gave a second thought to the fact that maybe this conversation wasn’t yours to hear.
Now let’s think about how often we go to such extremes to listen to God. Do we hold our breath with anticipation and lean in close to catch every word? I began to ask myself this question throughout the past week after God laid several sets of verses before me to ponder. The image of standing at the door is one that portrays a deeper meaning than the chance to steal a few words of a conversation on the other side.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked. Psalm 84:10
I read these words and hear a call for attentiveness as we walk through each day. It’s almost as if we are standing watch to keep the enemy from entering our homes and hearts. It’s our chance to decide what we allow to come through the door. Only God could set up a world in which the choice is ours but the goal is Him.
I am faced with more silence than ever. It doesn’t seem possible, but the world has slowed down and stillness is ever-present. I have an opportunity to stand at the doorway of my thoughts and actions and make a choice. Will I allow bad news to enter my house or will I filter it until only the good news makes it way through the door?
The idea of being a sentinel for the Good News is an honor. Maybe, you and I can stand watch together and learn from each other what God is calling us to do. Maybe, this is the time and place for us to listen more intently for what God is trying to teach us. Or maybe, God is trying to call us back to the time before life was busy and our focus strayed in other directions.
All I know is that God laid these verses in front of me for a reason. He took the time to show me the importance of waiting by the door and standing watch. It’s the thought that even if I tried to ignore the words, God would still bring them to my attention in another way.
God is our Way-Maker, Thought-Keeper, Attention-Getter, and Good News-Bearer. He calls us to listen and respond as He guides us closer to Him.
What do you hear in the quiet?
Things are really quiet today in my part of the world. Visits from family and friends are on hold as the world recovers from the coronavirus. I hear the occasional ping of my phone as a text message comes through or the strains of the theme from Downton Abbey when my phone rings, but most phone calls are usually marked as spam.
I am in a vacuum of silence that begs for something to breakthrough. But not all sounds are equal and in this time of an extended pause, I want to choose wisely.
So what are you listening to these days? Have you discovered new sounds that you never heard before? Are you standing watch in the doorway?
God calls us to listen and stand watch. He promises that when we find Him we find life. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask but I wonder how you and I will respond?
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death. Proverbs 8:34-36
Listen and Respond
How will you listen and respond today? Will you take the time to let God speak to you? What do you hear?
I hear so much better in the quiet.
Holy whispers stir the air near my morning quiet time chair.
The scratch of my pen as it moves across the journal page is busier than ever before.
The birds greet me with their morning song and never was it lovelier.
Neighbors in twos walk by my front window as they wind their way around the circular route.
But the sounds that stir my soul the most deeply reflect Hope and Peace.God is our Way-Maker, Thought-Keeper, Attention-Getter, and Good News-Bearer. He calls us to listen and respond as He guides us closer to Him. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
How are you listening and responding to God in these days of life flipped upside down? Are you keeping watch by the door by making choices that honor God?
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter
Join my mailing list!
Subscribers receive updates, newsletters, and FREE resources! Your information is safe and will never be shared.
If you're not receiving emails from me, check your spam folder and mark my emails as "not spam."
I’ve been listening a lot more outside, Mary. The song of the cardinal is especially soothing when I’m working in my flowerbeds. God has used this strange season to heal my heart in unexpected ways, and I’m so thankful for that. Hugs, friend.
There is something so beautiful about taking the time to listen and really hear the sounds around us. I’m glad you are finding healing in this season. God has a way of showing up and providing what we need even during pandemics. Hugs to you too.
A lot of wisdom here. If we are slow and quiet enough, God can speak to us through so many things and situations.
You said it well–if we are quiet and still enough. I am praying we all find that time to pause and let God speak to us.
Beautiful reminders, Mary. This brings up a memory of how as kids we put a glass on the wall or door so we could better hear what was being said. Your post makes me pause and reflect on whether I am that intent on hearing what God has to say. Oh, that we would listen, watch, and wait every moment! Thank you, dear friend! Love and blessings to you!
I remember doing that as I tried to listen to my brothers on the other side of their door. 😉 I find myself a little scattered these days. I love the quiet but two months later, I feel there is too much quiet. I miss my people so I know I am not always focusing and listening to God. May we pause before jumping into our day and thank God that He has given us another one.
I must admit that it’s been harder for me to listen lately, amidst the chaos of trying to homeschool now and having all three kids home all day without help from my parents or outside distractions to entertain them. It’s so interesting how this pandemic is affecting each of us in different ways. I’m finding that I must get up earlier if I want any silent space to hear from God during these full days. But he faithfully meets me there. I’m not in a season of receiving too much shaking revelation from heaven, but the steady time of showing up daily is a quiet form of sustenance for my weary soul. He is faithful…
I can only imagine what your days are like with homeschooling and no help from your parents. God sees your hard work and He knows how much you love Him. The fact that God knows us so well and shows up no matter what is the gift of grace. I am praying you continue to seek God in the slivers of quiet throughout your day.
I do well in the quiet – especially when I am writing. There is great wisdom in silence.
I also need quiet when I am writing. I agree that there is wisdom in the silence and His name is Jesus.
I love that thought (and picture) of being a sentinel for the Good Word! It is, indeed, an honor. I pray I will be true to that honor…hushing the sounds, voices and noise that need to be turned down (or silenced) and choosing only to allow that which is good, needful, pleasing and worthy to be heard in my heart and in my home.
Your comment rephrases my post so beautifully. May we stand strong at the doorway and remember we have God standing right next to us.
This resonated with me this morning Mary!
I have long been called to be the door keeper not just of my heart but my home.
Often receiving a hard time from others over this but this is very encouraging…
I love the verses God had laid before you to share with us. Thank you!
What an honor it is to be the doorkeeper for your heart and home. There will always be people who have a different opinion. May we take God’s Word with us wherever we go and let His truth become our foundation.
Just reading your words makes me want to slow down and listen. I am finding my days more noisier than I expected during this time. But with the uncertainty of the future, I am know listening is so important these days as it alway is! May I remember to listen, as you teach from God’s word, as if my life depended on it…and it does.
Your comment makes me think about how much I love visiting your posts about Breathing Spaces. It draws me in and slows me down every time. May we listen and know that God is there to guide us closer to Him.
Mary – As usual, a beautiful post, and you caught me on a day I was listening. I took a walk this morning by myself and was intrigued by the birds chirping and flying about. It sent me right to gratitude. God made our world so beautiful, and yet I miss so much of it as I hurry along. Maree
I love morning walks especially this time of year. The world is so alive, isn’t it? It is easy to miss the beauty that God created just for us. Thank you for joining in the conversation.
There is ALWAYS something being said in the quiet. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂
Amen! Thank you for joining the conversation, Rosie. It’s good to have you here today.
Mary, I love the picture you paint of us standing watch in the stillness and the quiet, guarding the doors to our hearts. This is a good opportunity to be still and listen to what God has to say to us. I have just begun reading through the Bible again – a new (to me) version in order to more perfectly hear His Word.
I love the image of listening at the doorway. It brings back memories of me doing the same thing outside of my brothers’ doors. Yes, I was that sister. I am glad you are reading the Bible all the way through. There is so much to learn each time we dig into God’s Word.
Thank you for these precious Scriptures and reminders. I have been feeling the need to look up and to watch. So your call to be listening so attentively fits in so well. He has slowed us for a reason. May we wait so expectantly.
I love it when God lays His precious words before us. He is willing to teach us so much if we will only listen. May we all wait expectantly and join in unison saying, Come, Lord Jesus!
Good morning, Mary,
I join you to be still and be watchful, choosing what sounds to sink in. Thank you for that verse in Proverbs. I need to meditate on that one. Have a blessed Tuesday, sister.
May we all keep watch at the doorway and listen intently for what God is saying. I am glad we are walking this road together.
Powerful, Mary! You really got my attention when you said this: “It’s almost as if we are standing watch to keep the enemy from entering our homes and hearts.”
Of course, we get to choose what we listen to. I think we forget that so often. If something bothers us, there is an off switch, or we close the book, or we walk away from the conversation. We don’t have to be disruptive, just quietly leave.
Philippians 4:8 has been my watchword always but especially now! I choose to focus of beauty, truth and goodness and not on fear.
Once again, Mary, I have to also say I enjoy your photos. We both live in the same part of the world, though different states. It is so neat to see your photos and remember similar scenes here.
Mary, I love the picture of standing with my ear pressed against the door, holding my breath, straining to hear what’s being said. It’s a picture I’ll remember as I listen to hear what God is whispering during this season. I pray for that same earnestness and desire to lean in to hear from God. I also love how God tells us again if we missed it the first time. He has a way of always getting our attention. 🙂
God does not give up when trying to get our attention. I pray we continue to listen well even after this season is over. We are changing and some changes are meant to be carried forward. It’s so nice to have you here today, Carlie!
Thank you for joining the conversation, Jerralea. I agree that we tend to forget that the choice is ours as to what we listen to or watch. Thank you for pointing me to Phil. 4:8. May we all filter our words, actions, and deeds through the words of Philippians 4:8.
I’m glad you like the photos. It is so much fun to take them.
This theme seems to resonate with great impact during this unusual time. I like the analogy Michele used about the concert hall and waiting for the Conductor’s downbeat. I am also reminded of the book of Nehemiah and how we too need to be watchmen on the wall more than ever at this time in what we keep out and what we let in. But more than that we also need to be watchmen about the unseen world beyond a virus and the headlines that remind us our watching is to look with hope toward the Lord’s return and to know He could come at any time. As a bride waiting for her bridegroom that should fill us with joy and anticipation as we watch.
Beautifully said, Pam! Thank you for pointing out the Book of Nehemiah. That fits here perfectly. I am praying we all find ourselves watching and waiting for the Hope of our Lord. It is good to see you today!
I’ve been doing a lot of listening to beauty—birds and flowers and waving grass. God promises to care for his creation, and I am part of that. He cares for me. In the silence I hear him urging me to care more for others. The have more patience, to seek understanding, and to make space for other ways of doing things.
You strike me as someone who listens to beauty on a regular basis. You certainly capture it beautifully with your camera. I hope I can make space for other ways of doing things too. Thank you for sharing.
I have loved the extra quiet. Were it not for the disease itself and the economical consequences, I wish we could stay at a slower pace of life. (But free to see our grandkids, of course!) I remember listening at the door of the labor & delivery room when my niece was about to be born and finally hearing that first cry. 🙂
I am glad you threw in seeing the grandkids. I do better when I give myself more quiet time with God. The relationship grows stronger and I hear His voice more clearly. I love that you got to listen at the door of your niece’s L&D room. I’m sure that was a proud aunt moment.
Ahhh, Mary. Such good thoughts here. First, I was convicted by the truth that I’m not always listening, anticipating hearing from God. My life, with husband and two boys home almost all the time feels a little louder right now. But, I have found a new rhythm in the mornings that has opened up time with Jesus and for exercise. This has been good.
In some ways, I feel like I’m learning how to listen again to the Lord, to be attuned to His promptings, to ponder Him in ways I haven’t in awhile. That has been good.
I am sure life sounds louder but I love how you are adapting. Finding a pocket of time to call your own and then devoting toward God and exercise sounds wonderful. I wonder if we all are learning new ways to listen to God’s voice? I know there is more intentionality that goes into my morning time which has made a big difference.
An image of listening came.to mind as I read: a concert hall, and all of us hushed, waiting for the Conductor ‘s downbeat.
Your words made me want to listen more attentively.
The hush in a concert hall is the perfect image for what listening with anticipation (which I hope we do when listening for God) looks like. It provides a brief interval to prepare as we ready ourselves for the concert. Thank you for sharing.