"Enoch walked with God...." Genesis 5:24...."How would the world change if we all became masters in the art of hearing heartbeats? God's and His people......When we become all ear, this changes the sound of the world." Ann Voskamp
Listening to the heartbeat of another requires intense concentration, even when using the means of a stethoscope. Other sounds have to be blocked out, and attention has to be focused on what you're hearing. Maybe this is the reason so few of us know and recognize the heartbeat of the Father, and even more, the heartbeats of those He loves. The noise of this world, coupled with the self-centered demands of our own hearts blot out what the beat of His heart is saying. And if we can't hear His heart, we certainly will miss what is coming from the hearts of others.
I've never been in the military, but I've always been fascinated by watching soldiers marching in tandem. It looks effortless, but it's not. It's the result of intense training that starts with hearing and being in tune with the leading of the drillmaster, and then, being in harmony with everyone else in the unit. It's a joy to watch a body of soldiers move as one, but it never happens naturally. It only happens as the result of awareness of another, and others, and a major reduction in focus on oneself. I must decrease so that He, they might increase.
Oswald Chambers wrote about "getting into the stride of God." We all talk about walking with God, but few of us walk in stride with Him. We prefer to think in terms of "following Him," but it's a kind of "convenient for us" kind of following. At a distance....a comfortable distance. We like to keep Him in view....but too often, the view of Him is as a distant speck on the horizon. We follow Jesus, but at our pace, not His. Can we really call this walking with Him at all? If we can barely keep Him in sight, how can we ever know anything of His heart? And if we can't hear and know His heart, we surely won't hear and know the hearts of others...and we'll be deluded as to knowing our own. This is why so many stumble through life, clueless as to His heart and leading, and oblivious to what's going on in the hearts and lives of others. I guess this is why, from the perspective of heaven, the Body of Christ most often looks like a crowd of raw recruits who have absolutely no idea as to what it is to move in step with the leading of the Father. We bump into each other, trip over each other, go in different directions from each other. But when we become all ear, as Voskamp writes, it not only changes the sound of the world, it changes how it looks to us as well. And it changes how we look and sound to each other.
We emphasize evangelism, and seek to gather in converts to Christ. Do we go about this in conjunction with His heart and leading? Do we listen for what His heart is saying in our encounters with the people we come into contact with each day? Can we hear what their hearts say in their words and behaviors? Do we see them just as people to be won to Him, or hearts and lives to be heard by Him? The first can be pretty impersonal. The latter requires not only the investment of our time, but ourselves. And our main focus is not "closing the deal," but hearing the heart, and speaking into that heart with His. We can do it because we hear His heart, their heart, while our heart is a conduit between them both.
I have so often been completely out of step with Him. Too often only aware of the demands and desires of my own heart, and not His, and for sure not another's. Could that be so of you as well? I want to be as Enoch, who walked with God, in His stride, with His heart. The beat of His speaks to us.....Can we hear it?