Imagine a game of tug-o-war. Without both teams the rope would simply fall to the ground and there would be no game or fun.

Now imagine on one side of the rope is "listening" and on the other side is "doing." There is a tension between the two, but they are both needed.

We can't truly listen without it changing us in some way – our ideas, our knowledge, our way of living. We can't truly do anything without first listening – to our thoughts, to God's call, or to the voices of others.

We need both listening and doing.

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They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”

Genesis 18:9-12

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Once, when I was listening, I learned that you can train a rabbit to use a litter box. We can hear some of the most interesting, amazing, or even unbelievable things when we listen.

Sarah heard something amazing while listening. What she heard was actually much more amazing than any factoid about rabbits. She didn't believe at first, and just laughed it off. Something amazing was happening for her.

How often do we listen and just laugh at what we hear God telling us? Or even worse, how often do we fail to listen to what God is saying about us and our lives?

Andrew Noe

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God, open my ears and my heart so I can fully hear. Help me to hear you fully and believe what you say. Amen.

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Today is a day of tug-o-war,
Listening and doing pulling at you.
Sometimes listening is more important;
In other moments we are called to action.
In both, God is present.
Pray for God's guidance to know when
You should do and when you should listen.

Andrew Noe

Andrew Noe is a children's minister at Buechel Park Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in 2013. He is married to Hannah. They have a dog named Daphne and a cat named Ellie. Andrew enjoys comic books and delicious Kool-Aid.

Forgive Me for the Things

Ken Medema

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