I used to be one of those people in the church that listen to preachings and teachings for information rather than for transformation. I always love to listen to best preachers but not with the mind to be transformed but rather to be informed about Bible characters, events, stories and histories.
At a time, I got tired of a particular church when I discovered that my life was simply oscillating and it became apparent that I wasn’t making any spiritual progress. I felt the best I could do is to change my church perhaps I will hear certain things which would deliver the information I needed. I never knew the problem was not the church but me.
Although I noticed that I was growing in the information about the Bible but my life was far from what you may call transformation. I had the Bible in my head but it was not in my heart. I could quote so many Scriptures but my character was full of many quotes.
I had access to preaching that could transform me, but since that’s not what I was looking for, it made no effect on my life.
I was like the Athenians in Acts 17:21 which spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing yet they were fully ignorant of God – their worship was to an unknown God.
Now, may I say something to you here?
How we listen to God’s Word determines its effects on our lives.
You must always ask yourself whenever you are about to hear the preaching or teaching of the Word whether you are going to listen for information or for transformation.
As for me, since the Lord helped me to stop taking the moment to hear God’s Word as just a moment of information, the preaching of the Word has brought transformation to every aspect of my life.
Now that I’m also privileged to be a teacher of the Word, I’ve not ceased to pray to God for personal transformation whenever the Word is preached irrespective of the spiritual status of the person preaching or teaching.
So how do we listen to God’s Word for Transformation?
1. Listen with a Conviction that God’s Word has Power to Transform You
The first transformation the earth had came by the Word of God (Genesis 1:3). God’s tool for transformation is His Word. God’s Word is powerful and sharper than any two edged sword.
In fact, the Living Bible translation of Hebrews 4:12 says, “For whatever God says to us is full of living power.” Jesus made this clear in Mark 5:13,15 as He spoke His Word, full of living power that brought immediate transformation to a wild demoniac.
Whenever I listen to the preaching of the Word with a conviction that God’s Word has power to transform, it always bring the testimony of transformation in to my life.
2. Listen with a Conviction that God is Using the Preacher to Speak His Word to You
God’s Word began to transform my life as I began to listen that God is using the Preacher to speak directly to me and not any other person in the congregation.
Unlike before, I usually think the Word is meant for someone and not me, especially when God is addressing certain areas that requires immediate response to Him. Of course, I’m not saying God is not speaking as well to others. But my point here is that, we must have the attitude of the heart that will be secured enough to allow God to speak to us individually through His vessels (Luke 16:29).
3. Listen with a Flexible Heart
Do you know we all have the will power to grant God’s Word access to our heart or to deny access?
Whenever we refuse to soften our heart, we will always deny God’s Word the access to our hearts.
So it’s our responsibility to ensure that our hearts are not hardened so that God’s Word will be able to transform us (Hebrews 4:7).
4. Get to Church Early
Whether a business fellowship meeting, family altar or church worship service, we must be disciplined to get to a place of worship early. Early arrival to a worship centre shows to God that we are seriously hungry for His Word (Luke 21:38).
5. Be Willing to Pay the Price Required to Hear God’s Word
No matter the distance and the price required, be willing to give it all it takes to always sit under an undiluted teaching of the Word ( Luke 5:1).
6. Listen with Readiness to Obey
Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28). So listening for transformation requires obedience. It is our obedience to God’s instructions that brings transformation, not just a mere listening.
7. Listen to God’s Word with Faith in Your Heart
Transformation occurs whenever we allow God’s Word to mix with faith in our hearts. The profitability of the Word of God occurs when we receive it with Faith. The Bible says, the same gospel preached unto us was preached unto some people. But the word preached did not profit them because it did not mix with faith in them that heard it ( Hebrews 4:2).
I hope the Word I have shared with you here will mix with faith in you so that it can produce the desired transformation.