The Shema is found in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9. And it's repeated by Jesus, found in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27. It's an anchor for devout Jewish people. But don't move too fast through this little passage. Take God at his word..."Hear"! Listen to the Lord. It's one of the least leveraged disciplines, but one of the most critical for our vitality.
The potential for us to rise above the noise of a twisted and tangled world is real. The hand wringing, white knuckles and shortness of breath will never be fully eradicated but they can be radically reduced. So put this in the spiritual bank: When we desire to be blown away by the voice of God...we're in the will of God.
Here's a danger: We can let the power of time with God slip through our hands. Asking, sharing, praising, singing and a bunch of other "ings" are great, but without listening we're going to miss something that could well be mind-blowing.
Here's the great news: When humble people take time with God, God speaks. The earliest Jesus followers received the biggest breakthroughs from God while opening their hearts and ears to God. While they were worshiping and forgoing some food, "the Holy Spirit said...". This "word" resulted in a massive movement of the gospel around the world. What a beautiful thing. No strategy sessions, no polling and no consultants (by the way, these have their place and are great gifts from God). But this time was just time with God - willing and ready to hear his voice.
Now the payoff! "Shema" ... God is speaking. We don't need a PhD in listening. All that's required is a humble heart and willing feet to go the direction God points. We can do this. My only advice is simple but a touch painful. Get a sharp spiritual knife and carve some time to hear from God. Keep a bible open in front of you and confirm what you hear with some wise counsel. But make no mistake: We set aside time with God...and we'll be blown away by what we hear.