In order for the Holy Spirit to be unimpeded in His work, we must make an effort to hear God when He speaks. It is possible, for example, to “listen” to every word of a sermon, while actually not hearing a word of it. Sadly, there are some vacant attendees like this in churches every week! Their bodies may be in the pew, but their minds are obviously somewhere else. In fact, there are two types of listeners in practically every church in the world: passive and aggressive.
A passive listener is one who’s present at services—maybe even every week—but just sits in the pew and lets his mind wander. He watches people, notices how they dress and act, socializes with friends, and makes lunch plans. He doesn’t go to church to hear from the Lord. He shows up out of habit, or because the simple act of going makes him feel better about himself.
An aggressive listener, on the other hand, walks into the sanctuary excited about what the Lord is going to say. This Christian has a Bible, notebook, and pen in hand, ready to capture the meat of the message. He scribbles down as much as he can, trying not to miss a single point of the sermon. Throughout the message, he asks himself, How does this apply to my life?
The Lord communicates in many different ways, and when He speaks, we should always listen actively. If you find your mind wandering during worship, perhaps you’re approaching God passively. Ask Him to refocus your thoughts, and decide to be an aggressive listener from now on.