Listen—Hear and Obey
The biblical word for “hear” or “listen” carries the meaning of both hearing the message and doing what you hear.
From childhood, every Israelite learned Deut 6:4 (NIV)
“Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.”The Hebrew word for “hear” meant to hear and obey.
In the New Testament, the concept of obedience as a path to abundant life is echoed.
After the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17, God speaks from a cloud,
“This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5 NLT).
James 1:22-25 (NLT)
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey,it is like glancing at you face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
Hearing to obey God is the path to freedom and abundance.
• What are some potential downfalls to hearing but not obeying?
The Benedictine Community started in 539 AD and still exists today nearly1500 years later. What contributes to their longevity? In our church
tradition, many of us average 2-3 years before we change churches or drop out all together. Benedict required three vows in order to be a member of the Benedictine Community.
The Vow of Stability. I will not walk out on my brothers and sisters over relational tension.
The Vow of Conversion. I not only profess faith in Jesus but I also commit myself to being transformed on a continual basis into the image of Jesus.
Initial conversion and Ongoing conversion; Justification and Sanctification.
The Vow of Obedience. Benedict embraced the biblical concept of hearing and doing the will of God as a pathway to freedom and abundance. The
Latin word for “obedience” carried the idea of “paying attention.” Of course,in order to hear and obey, you must be paying attention.
• What are some of the distractions in life that crowd out our attention to
Benedict encouraged the development of five spiritual disciplines to increase our ability to pay attention to God: prayer, study, work, hospitality, and
• In what ways have these disciplines increased your ability to pay attention
Listening in all three vows
Listening is an important element in all three of the vows of BenedictineChristian.
Stability calls us to listen to God in this particular place, with these particular people, in this particular circumstances. What is God saying to me where I am now?
Conversion calls us to listen to God as He is transforming us into the image of His Son.
Obedience calls us to pay attention to the voice of God all around us andwithin us in order to find the path to freedom and abundance through obedience. I hear and obey.
Obedience: Path to Freedom and Abundance
Obedience is the path to freedom and abundance.
James 1:25 “If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless
you for doing it.”
• How could these three vows bring freedom and abundance to the
challenges in your life?
Let us listen to obey.
For more inspiration, read 2 Corinthians 2:9; John 13:17; Luke 6:46.