Listen, See, Obey

Listen, See, Obey

Friends, I invite you to share your comments on these Afterthoughts at the bottom of this web page. I would love hear what you think! brad+

These three words can be difficult to understand and difficult to follow.

(Especially the obey part).

But they are essential to the life of faith.

Ears to hear.

Eyes to see.

A heart that’s willing to obey.

All essential.

This is what I shared about on Sunday as it related to the reading from 1 Samuel.

Listening for what is going on around us.

Listening for what God may be doing in our midst.

Listening for what might be next in our lives.

Looking at the things that are going around us.

Looking for what God may be doing in our midst.

Looking for what God might be doing next in our lives.

And stepping forward, in faith, to obey what it is we see and hear.

Regardless of whether we think we have it all figured out or we are good enough.

Regardless of whether or not it is the popular thing to do currently.

Like Samuel.

Who, even though he was under the authority of Eli,

Heard God and obeyed.

Even when it was difficult.

Not like Eli.

Who had forgotten his first love (God).

Who failed as a priest to be the spiritual leader.

And let his sons do abhorrent things.

Knowing they violated God’s laws.

And had taken advantage of their father’s position.

For their gain.

Eli, whose “vision was growing weak.”

Eli, who didn’t hear God calling to Samuel.

Eli, who didn’t realize when Samuel came to him that it might be God calling.

Eli, who demanded Samuel tell him what God had said.

Ears to Hear.

Eyes to See.

A Heart that is willing to Obey.

This is our quest.

So that our vision might not “grow dim.”

From the other readings on Sunday morning,

there are things that are good to see and hear as well.

Like in the Psalm when we are reminded that we are known by God.

“Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.” (vs 1)

“For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (vs 12)

Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them.” (vs 15)

How wonderful it is to see that the Creator cares for us all.

Like in the Psalm when we see that God encourages us in our journey.

“You press upon me behind and before and lay your hand upon me.” (vs 4)

How great is it to hear that God is with us in this journey of faith?

Like in the reading from 1 Corinthians that reminds us

that the cost of redemption has a cost that is meant to be lived out by us,

“For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

What a sobering truth to hear that our salvation cost God.

But what an encouragement to life a life freely in the grace and mercy of God.

Like in the reading from 1 Corinthians that reminds us

that even though we have “freedoms” in this life,

We are restrained by the love of the One who has saved us.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”

Listen and hear.

And obey.

Obeying is tough.

It’s not a word many like to hear or do.

Our culture is riddled with trauma from the word obey.

But in the life of faith,

It is something that is required of us.

It is the result of our listening and seeing.

The action part.

The doing.

The obeying part.

What does the word mean?

To listen under or place oneself under.


Yield to.

We care called to do this.

In our relationship to God,

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

And in our relationships with one another,

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

And, like I said earlier,

This is essential to realizing the gains made be seeing and hearing.

Sunday, I shared this verse from James to make the point,

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirrorand, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Look deeply into the mirror of life.

Trust what we see.

And hear.



Yield to.

And allow this life of faith to change us.

To make us into a loving community.

A spiritual community of care.