Are You Listening With Your Face?

"Mama, are you listening to me?"

"Yes, John, I am listening to you," my friend Lynne answered her young son.  It was late afternoon, and she was busy putting the finishing touches on dinner and switching a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer while he recounted the events of his day.

"Then listen to me with your face," he said emphatically, "I want to see your eyes!"

As Lynne related her story, I could instantly identify with her.  How  many times, I wondered, have I done the same thing -- listened with my ears, but not with my face? Or my eyes?  Or my heart?

In my quest to get things done, I often listen with less than focused concentration.  Because of my tendency to multi-task, I am sometimes guilty of hearing, but not really listening. This affects the quality of my interaction with my friends, my family, my patients, and even my Lord.

Thankfully, God does not have the same problem with listening as I do.  God always listens with His face.  God allows me to see His eyes.  1 Peter 3:12 affirms this, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayer."  2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that "the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

Scripture also tells us of times that God turns his face away.  First Peter 3:12 concludes, ". . . but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."  The prophet Habakkuk observes of God that "Your eyes are too pure to look on sin."

Moses is an example of a man who listened to God with his face.  Each day he would enter into the tabernacle to meet with God.  There he would talk with God about his ministry, the demands of his work, and I suspect, his personal life.  He would share his needs, his frustrations, and his thoughts.  When he was finished speaking, he would listen to the wise counsel of the Lord. Exodus 33:11 says that "the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."

One of the most amazing benefits of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is that we, like Moses, can speak with God every day. When we follow Moses' example by setting aside time to talk to God daily through prayer, and listen to him as he speaks through his word, the Bible, we have access to all that Moses experienced.

Second Corinthians 4:6 tells us that we see "the glory of God in the face of Christ."  Jesus Himself says that "If you have seen the Father, you have seen Me."  When we stop long enough to listen with our faces, we can see God's face.

When Moses left the tabernacle after spending time with God each day, he was changed.  Scripture tells us that "he was not aware that his face was radiant, because He had spoken to the Lord."  Just like Moses, when we take time to speak with the Lord, we are changed as well.  We are changed into His image. "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory," (2 Cor. 3:18).

This is not a physical transformation, although I do believe a Christian should have a countenance that reflects her relationship with God. The greatest transformation is in the way we relate to others.  People noticed this when they were around the first century disciples, and those around us should notice it as well. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts. 4:13)

As you begin your week, I encourage you to take time to listen to God with your face. As you spend time  in His presence, He will empower you, encourage you, and transform you.

God bless you as you seek Him!

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