Monday, September 16, 2013

Are You Listening

“Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house…they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 12:2

Just because you have ears, it doesn’t always mean you’re listening.

My sister recently told me about a humorous incident she experienced once. I should point out, she has quite a few of these. She walked into one of the ladies’ restrooms in her church, she said, and noticed there were two purses sitting on the counter near the washbasins. Thinking she’d have a little fun with the two women in the stalls, she said in a loud voice, “Oh, two purses! Think I’ll have a look and see what’s inside them.” She waited to hear what kind of a response she’d get, but imagine her surprise when two of the deaf ladies of the church emerged from the stalls! Obviously, her practical joke was a waste. J

Ears have more than one function, but their main one is hearing. They may be nice for displaying beautiful earrings, but it’s no substitute for being able to hear lovely music or the sound of children’s laughter. Jesus spoke often about having “ears to hear.” It’s obvious that He wasn’t talking about the ability to hear, but the virtue of listening and heeding. And we know one can “hear” by way of fingertips (Braille) or the eyes, in reading.

It would seem to me that we’re all auditory “challenged” one way or another through life. For instance, the young child must be trained to pay attention. As we get older, we soon learn the sometimes sanity saving art of tuning someone out while looking dead at the person. And one of the most frustrating things about getting older is experiencing the growing loss of hearing.

I said all these things to drive one thing home to us: When you and I became part of the family of God, one piece of equipment we were given was “ears to hear.” By that I mean we’re supplied with an infallible Master Book of encouragement, instruction, and warning, along with a personal Interpreter (the Holy Spirit) to make sure we have everything we need for a victorious, satisfying and influential Christian life.

The true child of God has a fully operational sense of hearing, and most of us start out paying attention, fascinated by the prospect of communion with God and His Son. Later on, sadly, some of us become so distracted by the clamor and caterwauling of this world that we find artful ways to tune out Biblical principles and Holy Spirit warnings. Finally, we may just allow the Father’s sweet wooing to fellowship to become fainter and fainter, satisfied to live on memories, instead of daily encounters. But Micah 6:1 says “Hear ye now what the LORD saith…”

God warned in Amos 8:11 that there was a famine coming. Not a famine of bread and water, He said, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” Not the words but hearing the words. I would contend that time has arrived. It’s possible to have perfect hearing but be spiritually deaf. And that, dear friend, is a life altering waste.

Are you listening?

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