God's been leading me to read Habakkuk lately. Only has three chapters, and honestly, I've read it before enough times, but it's not usually a book I would choose to study/read (or that God has ever led me to before).
I'm stuck in Habakkuk 2:1 "I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. Then I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint."
Listening is more than being near someone while they talk. Habakkuk put himself in a position to hear God and he actively watched for an answer. He climbed to his "listening place" and stood guard, waiting for an answer.
We are so busy! We ask God to speak and then go on with our lives expecting him to interrupt us to answer. We don't get in a listening position and wait on him. We make hearing from God just one of the things we hope to happen as we go on with our day. We don't expect him to answer or value his words to us.
I hate when I'm talking to my kids and they keep on doing whatever and don't even acknowledge that I am there. Sometimes they hear me and sometimes they don't, but there is no way I know if they are listening by their posture or responses. A simple "yes, ma'am" or "okay" would prevent me from repeating myself. Of course, the truth is they know that if they don't act like they hear me, I am more lenient as to the punishment for disobedience. (I really do try and be fair and not punish them for being kids and just not paying attention.) But they also know, that I will keep repeating myself until they respond in a way that shows they hear me, and that annoys us both.
How often do we hear God and act like we didn't so we aren't responsible to do what he said? Ouch! The difference is that God knows we hear him even if we don't respond and we are responsible to obey his words.
Time for me to practice some active listening AND obeying when God speaks.