April 14, 2015 • Life for Leaders
Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
In the 1970s, the brokerage firm of E.F. Hutton ran an unforgettable series of TV commercials. The set up was always similar. Two people in a crowded public place are talking about financial matters. One shares the wisdom of some broker. The other person responds, “Well, my broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says . . . .” At that moment, the surrounding crowd is immediately quiet. Everyone leans forward eagerly to hear what E. F. Hutton says. The voiceover explains, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Even as a teenage boy with no interest in financial markets, I learned that E.F. Hutton had a voice worth hearing, a powerful voice, indeed.
According to Genesis, God’s voice is even more powerful than E.F. Hutton’s. By speaking, God actually creates. When God says, “Let there be light,” light comes into existence (1:3). When God says, “Let the earth put forth vegetation,” the earth is filled with plants and trees (1:11-12). The voiceover for Genesis 1 might say, “When God talks, creation happens.” God’s word is indeed more powerful than E.F. Hutton’s.
If this is true, then surely we ought to pay close attention to what God says. Like those eavesdroppers in the E.F. Hutton commercials, we should quiet down enough to pay attention to what God says.
We all have many voices speaking into our lives. Some may be wise and well worth heeding. Others may be trivial, distracting, or downright evil. But, in the midst of a cacophony of voices, may God give us grace to hear his voice. May we find the will and the way to quiet down enough to hear what God has to say. May it be true of us, that when God talks, we listen.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
What helps you to listen to God speak? What distracts you from hearing what God has to say? As you exercise leadership, what helps you listen to God’s guidance? How might the Word of God guide and shape your leadership today?
Gracious God, when you talk, I should listen. Sometimes I do, Lord. But often I attend to other voices, perhaps to the voices of my family, my culture, my prejudice, my fear, my ambition. Your voice is easy to ignore, especially when I don’t like what I hear you saying. Forgive me, Lord, when I ignore your voice.
Help me, I pray, to listen to you. Give me a growing desire to hear your voice above all others. Teach me to attend to you as you speak in Scripture, in community, and most of all in Jesus, your Word made flesh. May it be true of me, Lord, that when you talk, I listen. Amen.
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.