4.1 “If Anyone Has Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear”

It’s essential to a victorious, meaningful life to pick up the Scriptures and listen for God’s voice. It’s essential to a joyful, peaceful response to life experiences to look for God’s hand in them and listen for His voice of wisdom. Yet, so often we seem to draw a blank and just can’t seem to “get” what He is saying.

Hearing aids are essential for some things.

If your family is getting tired of repeating themselves, you need them. If your wife feels it’s now her job to remind you to turn off the car’s turn signal, you need them. If you don’t want to totally rely on nonverbal clues to the conversation in a noisy place, you need them. If you don’t want your brain to close up shop early so that you can start tasting dementia, you need them.

And so, I now have hearing aids.

They are tuned to my individual hearing loss and balanced left and right. They are delicate and need protection from water and sun. They need to be powered up. They need to be inserted in my ears just so. They are costly.

Thankfully, I can say the adjustment to life with hearing aids is moving along. Yes, when my ears itch inside, they’re a nuisance because I can’t stick my pinky finger in there for relief. Yes, the tone of life all around me is much sharper (sometimes irritatingly so) than softly muted with the comfortable lower tones my introverted self can retreat into more easily.

Hearing aids are for when I’m awake, not asleep.

Yes, there are times when I’d rather sink back into another hour of quiet sleep in the softness of freshly washed sheets, than get up and face the sunshine of another day. And yes, there are times when I’d rather have the softer, comforting sounds – without any amplification or sharpening of the happenings of life. But, hearing aids are for when I’m awake, not asleep.  I can focus on the itch, or the sharper, even scratchy tones, and put them aside, or with gratitude reach for them morning after morning, arising better prepared to engage the world around me, better prepared to understand and respond appropriately to all the voices that challenge my sanity and my faith. Why wouldn’t I choose them if sounds are clearer, understanding better, bird song fuller, and my brain works better and longer? Why wouldn’t I choose them for the sake of those who are earnestly trying to communicate with me?

So, I do choose to pay the cost to convenience and our bank account to have them. I do choose to keep fresh batteries in them and use them every day. I do choose to be thankful for them. They are becoming part of me and identify with me in the same way my eye glasses do. My wife can now ask me to put them in if she’s not being heard.

This all reminds me of something Jesus asks of His followers when He said these words:

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And He was saying to them, ‘Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’”

Mark 4:23-25 NASB [1]

When it comes to having ears that hear spiritual help, boy do we need help! I wonder, does God ever weary of me saying, “What did you say?” Perhaps it helps to hear Jesus saying “if anyone has ears he’s received, let him hear,”  or, “if anyone has hearing aids he’s received, let him put them in and hear!”

We have been given spiritual hearing aids so that we can understand God whenever and wherever we encounter Him – in the Scriptures and in life experiences.

It’s essential to a victorious, meaningful life to pick up the Scriptures and listen for God’s voice.[2] It’s essential to a joyful, peaceful response to life experiences to look for God’s hand in them and listen for His voice of wisdom. Yet, so often we seem to draw a blank and just can’t seem to “get” what He is saying.

When we do “get” what He is saying, what makes the difference?

THE HEARING AIDS THAT GIVE US “EARS TO HEAR” IN PRAYER:

  1. Awe (fear of God & humility before Him)
  2. Fullness of the Holy Spirit (hearing healed)
  3. Faith in His power and purpose (focus clarified)
  4. Love for Jesus Christ alone (priorities corrected)
  5. Freedom in forgiveness (emotional blocks removed)
  6. Reasons to be thankful (selfish interest removed)
  7. Obedience (mind renewed, life transformed)

Over the next several weeks, let’s explore these hearing aids we are given by His grace.

All the spiritual graces we’ve been given to hear the voice of Christ are so costly there’s no way we can purchase them – so costly that we can’t buy them ourselves. And thankfully, God is not expecting us to buy them for they’ve already been bought for us with the blood of Christ.[3] Our spiritual hearing aids are tuned to our individual need to hear God. They bring balance, clarity, and enable us to engage in appropriate ways to what He in love is communicating to us. And loving Him, we put them in!

In this series of posts we are considering the “hearing aids” in prayer we have received from God. We want to hear Him and understand what He is speaking, especially in our times of prayer. But, so often we just don’t get it without ears opened to God’s voice. So, to answer the cry of our hearts, God helps us by giving us spiritual hearing aids.

POSTS IN THIS 2021 SUMMER SESSION OF THE HUDSON VALLEY SCHOOL OF PRAYER:


Cross References:

  1. Mark 13:33-37; Ephesians 5:13-17; Romans 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
  2. Matthew 16:16-17, Mark 4:10-12,23-25, Luke 11:9-10, James 1:4-6, 2 Peter 1:1-3
  3. Isaiah 55:1-3

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