Hurry is a Barrier to Hearing God
“The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.” (Luke 8:13 NLT)
To cultivate an open mind so that you can hear from God, you’ve got to allocate time to listen. That means you’ve got to slow down. You’ve got to be quiet. You’ve got to put it in your schedule so you have time to hear God speak.
The first barrier to hearing God speak is resistance. But the second barrier to hearing God is hurry. When we live hurried lives, God gets shuffled to the sidelines. We say, “God, I want to hear from you. But hurry up! I’ve only got five minutes!”
God wants more than your leftovers and your spare moments. He wants to be the center of your life. The way that you prove he’s the center of your life is by allocating time to listen.
Jesus says in Luke 8:6, “Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture” (NLT).
Israel is not a very fertile country; most of it is a thin layer of topsoil over bedrock of limestone. If you plant something on this rocky soil, the seed will sprout — but it can’t get deep roots, so it withers and dies.
In Luke 8:13 Jesus explains that this kind of soil represents “those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.” The shallow soil represents a superficial mind.
Sometimes we react superficially to God’s Word. We get excited. We get emotional. We’re moved impulsively. But we don’t let God’s Word sink into the bedrock of our personality, so there’s no real change.
How do you grow beyond superficiality? How do you develop spiritual roots? There are two very practical ways.
First, schedule a daily quiet time with God. It can be 10 or 15 minutes. You sit, be quiet, listen to God, and ask him, “Is there anything you want to say to me through your Word?” You can review your notes from church or journal or sing your praises. Nothing will build spiritual roots faster than a daily quiet time with God.
Second, join a weekly small group. That’s where God can speak to you through other people as you discuss and interact and learn from each other. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together …. Instead, let us encourage one another” (TEV).
Both of these habits require you to be intentional with your time. When you allocate part of your day for a quiet time and part of your week for small group, you are showing God that you want him at the center of your life and that you want to hear from him.
– Rick Warren