I believe that listening is transformational, both for the one being heard, and the one doing the listening. Even more, as we walk in the way of Jesus, I believe that we’re invited into the experience/practice of listening with God’s heart (and not just our own). The Apostle Paul wrote:
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1-2
As we learn to hear God’s voice and get to know His heart, we start to have a better understanding of who He is and how He thinks. The process of transformation requires surrender though! A process of not only letting go of our ‘way,’ but also saying yes and acting on His way. The Kingdom of Heaven is the range of God’s effective will (Willard) – it’s His rule reign. It’s helpful and even relieving to learn, experience, and know that His way is the way of love. There is a problem though. We have built our own kingdoms (whether we’ve realized it or not), and the range of our own effective wills carry with them habits and ways of acting that usually function to keep us at the center of that ‘kingdom.’
I took some time in a recent teaching to look at this and to get super practical on how we can start having a new way of thinking about our relationships so that we can walk in the way of love.