This week’s message concerns another important area of basic Christian life. It’s all about who you listen to. We all understand that there’s a difference between sound coming into our ears and really listening. The people we really listen to can effectively change our lives, so how do you know who you should…and shouldn’t hear?
I Can Predict Your Future
I can predict your future. I don’t pretend to have special powers, but I can.
“Show me who you listen to and I’ll show you who you’re becoming.” -Craig Groeschel
I Kings 11.43, 12.4-8
“Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” So he said to them, “Depart for three days, then come back to me.” And the people departed. Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father Solomon while he still lived, and he said, “How do you advise me to answer these people?”And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.”
Show me who you listen to and I’ll show you who you’re becoming.
Rehoboam ended up, by listening to the wrong people, splitting the nation in parts, bringing unnecessary trouble and life changing problems to people. He chose to listen to those who were unwise and it cost him. He related to the young men he chose to listen to, as they were his age and stage of life. But it was his biggest mistake.
Here’s a truism. “You are one relationship away from a changed life, changing the course of your destiny.” It depends on who you listen to.
So how do you choose? According to what you know and can relate to? Your old friends, your relatives? According to popularity? The most read blogger, the edgy NY Times bestsellers?
If you have one guiding principle in your life, let it be this: Listen to the wise.
They take many different forms, from kids to adults, all kinds of voices. But choosing the wise is the first and best choice.
There are three different categories of humans: the wise, the fool and the wicked.
The wise aren’t always the coolest, smartest, best looking in the bunch. The wise are people with a wise approach to life. Here’s their characteristics.
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
One characteristic of the wise is that they are humble enough to know that they don’t know everything, so they are lifelong learners. They’re humble enough to hear what others have to say and haven’t arrived.
“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,And before honor is humility.“
The wise hear rebukes of life. What can I learn from this? That’s the question of the wise. Wise people hang out with wiser people and become wiser still. And wise people are instructed by God’s Word.
Then there’s the fool.
The fool may wear a uniform or a professor’s PHD or be wealthy and famous.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
A fool is self confident, not willing to listen and spouts lots of his or her own thoughts, believing every one of them to be true. They’re not instructed by God’s Word, but by whatever they deem to be beneficial to themselves. And they may sound great, have a great vocabulary and have a large number of followers.
Finally there is the wicked –they are out, not just for themselves, but for outright evil purposes.
“The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked”
Wicked people threaten, carry out evil devices, deceive, overpower and force themselves on the innocent. Their intentions are to bring violence, harm, to those around them for no reason and some reason.
Some people are drawn to the bad guys. They idolize the Bonnie and Clydes and think it’s cool.
So who do you listen to?
You are one relationship away from a changed life, changing the course of your destiny, either for the good and the upward or the bad and the downward. Who you choose to listen to will form who you will become.
One last point. God always speaks most clearly through lines of authority. And He’s the one you want to hear, first and last.
There are levels of authority in this world. Here’s the top four.
4)Delegated authority which includes: a)Family b)Civil c)Work d)Spiritual authority
If you are wise, and not a fool, you’ll look, you’ll listen and apply what God says. What He says about relationships, finances, and every other area of life. Who you’re listening to affects your thoughts, then your choices, your actions and then the results.
What is one point of the message today that you’ll take home with you?
Have you been purposely listening to the right voices in your life?
If you realize that you’ve listened to the wrong voice, what can you do to correct that and get back on the right path?