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Just Listen
by Michael Daniel

"He that hath an ear, let him hear."

For years I thought I knew what Jesus meant when He said this. I didn't know the half of it. Yes, He spoke in parables so that those whom the Holy Spirit caused to know might know, but today He has humbled me in a devastating yet glorious way.

"Michael...shut up and just listen."

I have a friend, actually my very best friend, who has in her gentle and unselfish way been saying the same thing to me for over a year now. Deep within me the words would softly resonate. The problem was, I couldn't hear them. Something on the surface kept me from knowing that all she needed was for me to just listen. She didn't need me to give her answers or solve her problems. She didn't need me to teach her or explain things to her or even comfort her. All she wanted was for me to love her enough to just listen. Well, the something on the surface that kept prohibiting me from being able to hear her was none other than ME!

The heinous self of Michael Daniel reared its ugly head time after time after time and tried to be her Jesus. The irony of it all is that for over three years as we talked about God I would in every case tell her not to believe a word I said. I would say to her; "You have all of the Holy Spirit within you. He is your Everything and He will guide you and teach you and instruct in all God's ways." That is what my heart would be saying to her but lurking in the skin was the con artist of self whispering; "I know what I'm talking about so if you know what's good for you girl, you'll keep running to me in every situation and circumstance you encounter. Oh sure, I know that Jesus is your All, but I'll be the one who leads you to Him. You need me. As a matter of fact, you can't live without me."

So on and on I would talk about the deep things of God and more and more she would plead with me to just listen. The truth is, the more I kept telling her NOT to listen to me the more I rambled on and I couldn't stop myself. Secretly in my putrid, rotting flesh I wanted her to depend on me. Today the Holy Spirit has made me know this and I am sickened by it as well I should be. Am I thankful for this humiliation? You'd better believe it!

There are no answers in and of this world and especially in the "Mister Know It All" of humanity. Self is the thief that kills, steals and destroys because it thinks it knows something. Self keeps trying to convince itself that it can do what only God can do. It has to, otherwise it is dead and buried in the grave.

This last year has been one of the greatest trials my very best friend and I have ever been through. The doubts and fears she has about me are still lingering. I can only trust God and simply believe that He will bridge the gap. I am helpless to do anything else. It's been very hard for her to hear God because I wouldn't shut up and she couldn't tell me because I wouldn't listen. Why? I'll make no excuses nor will I give any explanations but one thing is for certain. I pray that from now on God will make me be still, be quiet and love enough to...just listen.