My pastor has this uncanny knack of nearly knocking me right out of my seat with his wisdom. Most recently, he shared a verse from Matthew 17:
“This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)
This verse is found as Peter, James, and John witness the transfiguration of Jesus. They had just awoken to discover Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah. As if seeing two giants of their faith isn’t exciting enough, let me remind you that Moses and Elijah had been dead for quite some time! When we take those things into consideration and the fact that the disciples had been sleeping, we can understand why Peter began to run at the mouth and the Lord had to interrupt his presumptuous and out-of-place suggestions for building altars.
As my pastor shared with us about a verse I’ve read countless times, he relayed that the Greek meaning of the word “listen” in the original text means, “to listen with the intent to obey.” God was telling the disciples to hear Jesus out … but to also understand what Jesus was about to say so that they could obey His directive.
My mind wouldn’t budge from that concept for the rest of the church service. I came home and re-read those verses several more times. Suddenly, it dawned on me how like Peter I am. I’m prone to making big proclamations and pronouncements full of good intention and even scripture to back them up. BUT … what I sometimes miss is fully hearing God out before I jump in feet-first. As a new idea dawns on me or my eyes are opened to a fresh truth, my zeal can overshadow what I know to be best: listening to God.
Also, there are too many times that I get so excited at something and begin to plan for amazing ways to show the Lord that I’m listening. The irony is, in an effort to praise the Lord for His Word, I interrupt Him before I’ve fully heard it. The Lord doesn’t speak to hear His own voice. He speaks so that I will listen … and obey.
Peter’s knee-jerk reaction to seeing Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah was to proclaim that he wanted to build altars — three of them — for Jesus and the two prophets. His idea was noble and even Scripturally sound as we read of altars being built to the Lord all throughout the Old Testament. What Peter was missing, though, was that Jesus was about to lay out before Peter and the other two disciples all that was about to happen with the crucifixion and resurrection. The very foundation of our relationship with Jesus and God’s reconciliation plan for redeeming His people once and for all was about to be shared. I can imagine all of the Heavens holding its breath, waiting in anticipation.
Meditating on this passage of Scripture really caused me to look at myself objectively, and I wonder if it would help you to do the same. When you hear the Lord speaking to your heart, are you listening? And once you’ve listened fully, are you ready to obey?
Or, like Peter (and me!), do you get so enthusiastic that you begin to act before you know how you’re supposed to obey? If you answered yes, don’t despair! Peter is also called The Rock on which Christ said He’d build His church. While Peter may have made notable missteps recorded for all to read in the pages of Scripture, he grew in his faith and became one of the greatest leaders of Christianity.
Let’s take heart: God loves a willing and obedient heart (Deuteronomy 10:12), and He also calls us to action (James 1:22) for sure, but we must also remember to hear God out completely before we dive in. Acting without clarity is a waste of time and energy, and can even miss the mark of what God was actually calling us to do (James 1:19).
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Darlene Schacht, author of Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages and co-author of Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships8 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture5 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions