There are different ways to listen. Each one is built upon the other. You cannot skip one. The last is most important, and seems most lacking in today’s culture.
1. Listening physically. Knowledge is built here. We take in the information before us with our 5 senses. Hearing with our ears is most common, but reading is also a form of listening done with eyes, or fingers if one has vision problems.
2. Listening mentally. Understanding is built here. We logically process the information through our filters and worldview. We make judgement calls on whether something is true or false, helpful or harmful, beneficial or useless.
3. Listening soulfully. Wisdom is built here. We ask what does this information mean for us? How is God speaking through this? What are the long term ramifications on our souls? How is God present here? What is God saying here?
We all do the first. A good amount of us do the second. But precious are those who engage in the third.