Posts Tagged hearing

Ears On

John 10: 27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Get ready for a year of lots of good news. That is what the gospel is afterall, right? So let us begin here. God has opened your ear (Isaiah 50: 5). So, now you can hear Jesus’ voice. Our challenge for this year is believing what Jesus said. Could he tell a lie? Do you think he did even if he could? So what did it mean when he said his sheep hear his voice? It seems pretty plain, doesn’t it? The next question is, “Are you his sheep?” I like to think you are and if you do answer this question in the affirmative, then I have some good news for you. You can hear Jesus’ voice! I take that back – it’s not good news, it’s great news!

Let me ask you a question. Do you ever tune out your spouse or a co-worker? That ability to tune out background sounds can be very beneficial. However, your spouse probably isn’t all that excited about your gift. That ability may well operate to tune out Jesus’ voice as well. Everyone who is part of Jesus’ flock has the ability to hear him speak. However, some people hear him and others don’t. Why? Some people have cultivated the ability to tune out much of their sensory data. In order to hear Jesus’ voice many of us have to learn to listen. I will confess it took me some time to hear him speaking to me regularly. Even now, my ability to hear him is dependent on my surroundings. If I do not slow down and pay attention, I will miss his communications.

The good news, though, is that we all have the ability to hear Jesus speaking to us. We just have to develop our listening capacity. We have to turn on and tune in our ears. Journaling is one way to help focus your attention and your tuner. It makes it easier to block out the noise so that you hear Jesus more clearly and even easier.

Let’s put this on our goal list for the New Year, to plainly and clearly hear the voice of God!

Having Heard

Isaiah 30: 21

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

God means that you should hear his voice. He wants to talk with you. He also guides you with his voice. It seems that hearing from God has been relegated to a few people but that is not God’s intention. It is our tradition that has developed that idea. 

The big secret about hearing the voice of God, if you are not already, is that it takes practice. You begin to recognize the voice of God and it becomes easier and easier to hear him. One time I went on a trip and took a suit with me for the occasion. Then I had this idea occur to me to take an additional suit. I thought about it and said to myself, “But I don’t need two suits.” The thought persisted though so I packed the second one. As it turned out, I did end up needing two different suits. That was when I realized that it had been God telling me to grab the second suit. I learned a lot from that. First of all, I began to learn how God’s voice sounds in my ear. Sometimes it is just a thought that occurs to me from out of nowhere. I may be thinking of something totally different and a thought comes to me. Recently I left my house to go to an appointment. I got to the end of the street and the thought came to me that I had left the garage door open. I thought about that for a minute and in my own thinking I did not think that I had left the door open. The thought persisted though so I turned around and drove back to the house. Guess what? Sure enough the door was open. 

That is the way God communicates with us. In the example about the suit, it would not have been the end of the world if I had not listened to Him and packed only the one suit. Even with the garage door, I am sure that He would have protected my house in my absence but it sure is nice that He does tell me these things because my life is much better for all of the things He tells me. 

And that brings up the second lesson I learned about hearing from God. He often starts out teaching you to hear his voice by talking with you about small things. It did not take much faith for me to turn my car around and go check the garage door. He has built my faith in Him and in my hearing Him in these small things. Now when He says something big to me, I am better able to recognize that it is His voice speaking to me and I have more faith in hearing Him so that I do what I hear without arguing it away.

The thing you really have to do to start hearing God’s voice is to turn off some of the noise around you. If you are like I was you always have some noise machine on. In my case I had the TV or stereo on every minute of my life. There was no quiet time in my life for Him to speak in. The other thing that I had to do was to quiet my mind. My mind was so busy and so loud that there was little chance of me hearing Him. Quiet your mind. And lastly, I absolutely prayed about hearing the voice of God. I knew that other people heard God’s voice and I absolutely insisted on hearing also. If anyone is receiving a blessing from God, you are entitled to that same blessing because it is one and the same Jesus that has bought that blessing for each of us. Don’t let any of God’s blessings evade you.

I Can Hear

Isaiah 50: 5

The Lord God has opened my ear.

God has not determined that only a few may hear His voice. He has opened the ear of us all that we might be led by Him. Life becomes substantially easier when you can hear His voice. You are able to then receive His wisdom and walk in the path He determines is best for you. You may say that you have never heard His voice before though. Ok, first you must accept that you can hear the voice of the Lord. Then come to expect it. Next, listen. You should start to actively listen. The leading of the Lord can be subtle but with time you might also find that He can be loud and clear. I have noticed that some of us have a difficult time hearing a person that is standing three feet away speaking audibly. Our minds have so much chatter going on in them that we really don’t listen to people all of the time. If you have discovered this in yourself, don’t worry. You are not alone. It is an epidemic. We are busy people juggling a lot of data in a short period of time. Learn how to quiet your mind so that you can hear from Him. Sometimes it is just a thought that comes to you out of nowhere. As you listen for His voice and begin to hear Him, you will grow accustomed to His communication. You will begin to recognize His voice at the first whisper. You are meant to hear from Him. You are the special person that He wants to talk with.

This Way ->

Isaiah 30: 21            Index Card 15

And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Well, today is the last index card but it really is a good one and certainly one which I have relied upon extensively. This is a promise from God and you can hold Him to it. First it means that we will hear God speak to us (See Word of the Day – Opened Ears, 3/24/16). That is a great promise all by itself but let’s not stop there. It also means that He will give me direction, He will guide me in the way I should go. God has opened our ears and is using the communication lines between us to show us the way (read all the puns into that you want). His voice guides us daily. If at any time we do not hear Him leading us then we have only to stop and recall this verse. Then we set our intention back to hearing His voice and there He is, still on the line talking.

Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would be our guide (John 16: 13). He also revealed that the Holy Spirit would take whatever He hears and disclose it to us and believe it, the Holy Spirit keeps pretty good company. So, we really have it made. God the Father has promised to speak a word in our ears and Jesus commissioned the Holy Spirit to speak to us and guide us. Now we know the way.

Hearing Aide

Romans 10: 17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Faith is an important trait for every Christian. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11: 6). That is a weighty statement. So, if it is important, even vital for us to have faith then you would expect the Father to provide a means by which we can obtain this mandatory commodity. Enter Romans 10: 17.  Here God is teaching us how to get faith.

Apparently faith comes from hearing. Okay, from hearing what? Many people teach that faith comes by hearing the Word of God or the Word of Christ. Absolutely there is interconnectedness between the Word of God and faith. However, there is an intermediary as this verse indicates. How do we recognize the truth of this? It is in the text of the verse. Think of it this way. If you wanted to convey that faith comes from hearing the Word, you would say exactly that but that is not what Paul wrote. He said faith comes from hearing, and then he said that hearing comes by the word of Christ. There are two steps here. So let’s take just the first phrase first and figure out what this hearing is that creates faith in us.

What I believe Paul is trying to convey to us is that faith comes through communing with God in our spirits. That takes no great logic leap. So, faith comes when we hear God speaking in our spirits. Let’s say that you have a financial need and during your quiet time with God you hear His leading or perhaps He shows you a scripture that pertains to finances. What happens to your faith? It skyrockets, right? Any time you hear God in your spirit or He speaks through scripture it brings great encouragement and renewed belief. That is what I believe Paul is trying to convey to us. It is not all that different from Isaiah 40: 31 which we looked at earlier in the week, which told us to be intertwined with God and we would soar on wings like eagles. When you hang out with God your faith just soars. It happens.

“But,” you say, “I don’t hear that well.” Right; God thought of that. Paul wrote, “[H]earing comes by the word of Christ.” If you have a Bible with references and look at the note for this phrase it will tell you that a closer translation is “hearing comes by the word concerning Christ.” What is the difference? It all has to do with John 14: 6, where “Jesus said …, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.’” The way to the Father is through Jesus. So, for us that means that the way for us to improve our ability to connect with the Father is through Jesus. We wish to hear God better so it is not only through the Word of God but also through the person of Jesus Christ that we can do that. Don’t miss hear me though. You cannot separate Jesus from his word. That is why the rendering that we gain faith through the word is not inaccurate. It is just incomplete. It is not through studying the Bible that we improve our relationship with the Father or our ability to hear Him but rather through the person of Jesus. Jesus leads us to the Father. His mission on earth was to reveal the Father to us and provide a way for us to be reconciled with Him. Therefore, when we need revelation or when we simply need a touch from the Father we go to Him through the person of Jesus. Jesus is our mediator. He has provided us with the means to connect with the Father in a deep way. Whatever we need, Jesus can lead us and teach us. 

The bottom line is that in order to have faith, you need to hear the voice of God. If you cannot hear the voice of God or your hearing just needs improving, Jesus is there to help you. The good news about what Jesus has done for us is the catapult to deep fellowship with him and with the Father because Jesus always points to the Father. If you look at Jesus’ earthly ministry you will see that is true. So, this is how I would restate today’s verse in order to make it more clear, “Faith comes from hearing God’s voice, and the ability to hear God’s voice comes through Jesus.” The good news about who Jesus is and what he has accomplished is an engraved invitation to the throne room of God where you can be very relaxed in the presence of your father. Good ears come through the good news and the good news is “the word concerning Christ.” Jesus is the way. His role as our high priest and as our mediator is to lead us into the Father’s presence so that we can easily hear the voice of our beloved Father. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12: 2) and tune your ears to God expecting to hear Him speak to you. Then your faith shall rise as upon eagles’ wings.