Summary: So many people talk about prayer and reading the Bible and serving and all the other great and wonderful things; but not a lot of people talk about listening to God. How do we do it?
Tonight I want to start off with a little brain teaser. If you have heard this before, please don’t ruin it for everyone else and just keep your thoughts to yourself. I’ll read the question and then you guys can have a minute or two to think.
Once you have gotten the answer right, again, please don’t ruin it for everyone else and blurt out how you got to your answer. All I want to hear is your answer to the problem when I call on you and then I will let you know if you are right or not. So, here is the question:
You are driving a bus. You go east 12 miles, and turn south and go 2 miles and take on 9 passengers, and then you turn west and go 3 miles and let off 4 passengers. How old is the bus driver?
***Give the youth a chance to answer the question and eventually ask one of them to explain the question and how to find the right answer***
The main problem that many people have when trying to answer this brain teaser is listening. A lot of the times, we latch onto certain information that we think is important in a question and then somehow, miss the most important part. When I first read this question earlier this morning, like many of you, I latched onto the directions (east, south, west), the distance and the number of passengers on the bus. Those are things that that are important right?
When I got to the end and it asked how old the bus driver is, I just was dumb founded. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “how are we going to find the age of the buss driver from the information given.” I took a minute and looked at the numbers are wondered if there was some secret message in the numbers and maybe, if you added them together or something, it would work. It wasn’t for a few moments that I finally realized that the clue to this teaser was a simple, three letter word that starts the whole question off. “YOU are the bus driver.”
How often is it though that we have this same problem with listening in real life? Your Mom asks you to do something and you aren’t quite paying attention and latter on you get in trouble for not doing what you were supposed to. You get your homework back from your teacher with a big fat F on it and when you inquire to your teacher, he tells you that you didn’t follow all the directions – directions you missed because you were talking with the cute boy behind you and weren’t listening to the teacher.
Listening is so important in life and crucial to make relationships work. We all have built into us the need and want to be listened to. Being listened to communicates things like worth, value, love, and respect. How do you feel when you are pouring your heart out to a parent or a friend and then find out that they weren’t listening to you? You feel hurt, upset, and like they don’t care about you. Listening is so important and yet we live in a day and age where there are so many distractions to listening that it makes it more and more difficult to do.
***Ask the youth what distracts them most from listening***
As we continue to talk about the importance of taking in “Daily Nutrition” as we jump deeper and deeper into a relationship with Christ, a huge component that I think we constantly forget is the importance of listening to God. So many people talk about prayer and reading the Bible and serving and all the other great and wonderful things; but not a lot of people talk about listening to God.
Again, listening is so important to any relationship, and that includes our relationship with Jesus. And in some ways, I would argue that it is even more important because I think the God of the Universe and the Creator of all things is someone to pay attention to when he speaks. How often do we read our Bibles, which as we talked about last week is the Word of God, but yet just have it go in one ear and out the other? How often do we pray by just throwing up all these requests to God but yet never take them time to listen to what He may want to say?
For our time tonight, I want to look at a passage in 1 Samuel 3:1-10 that will give us some insight to listening to God in our lives.
***Have a youth read 1 Samuel 3:1-10***
Notice what verse one says again. “In those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.” Some of you may think that this is not unlike the times that we live in today. Well, I think I would agree with you but it is important to understand what this verse is getting at.