Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ears to Hear?

"The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them." Proverbs 20:12

Many times, the Lord Jesus prefaced His words as being for those who had "eyes to see" and "ears to hear".  This should let us know that we have a choice and a responsibility in hearing God's words.  This is not simply a faculty of the senses; it means perceiving God's word, having understanding of it, and heeding it (Psalm 115:5-6; Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2; Matthew 13:13).

"Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come?" Isaiah 42:23

The Lord still speaks to His people (Psalm 95:7-11; Hebrews 3:7-15; Hebrews 4:7; John 10:3-5; John 1:27).  He will speak directly & personally to you - even in your ear - so that you have no question who it is who commands you (1 Samuel 9:15; Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3). 

Yet, we must "give ear" to the Lord (Exodus 15:26, Deuteronomy 32:1, Judges 5:3, II Chronicles 24:19, Nehemiah 9:30; Psalm 45:10; Psalm 78:1; Proverbs 2:2; Proverbs 4:20; Proverbs 5:1; Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 28:23; Isaiah 55:3).

Further, our ears must be exercised to seek, hear, and know God's voice apart from all others (Job 34:3; Hebrews 5:14; I John 4:1).  Not every voice we hear - not even every spiritual voice - is the Holy Spirit. 

When we are unsaved, our ears are uncircumcised (Jeremiah 6:10; Acts 7:51).   There is no filter to separate words which contaminate from that which gives life (and we have a natural desire for that which is perverted).  However, once we are born again, the Lord opens our ears so that not only can we hear Him, but we can obey Him.  At that point, the question is not can we hear the Lord, but will we.

Some might say, "Of course we will hear the Lord!"  Yet, every word of Truth coming from the Lord is going to ram smack into that old thing with which have been in covenant for so long: S-E-L-F.  Many are fine claiming Christianity until the word of God begins to deal with what is in our souls.  As Scripture says, these endure for a while, but then depart from the faith being offended by the word (Mark 4:17).  Will you continue to abide in Christ even when the word of God brings offense to the old man or will you depart from the Truth seeking teachers who will scratch your itching ears (II Timothy 4:3-4)?

Wisdom itself is not seen in our Bible knowledge, but in our ability to heed correction (Proverbs 15:31; Proverbs 18:15; Proverbs 22:17; Proverbs 25:12; Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 35:15).  God chastens every son He receives and those who love Him will submit to it.  What stands in our way? Pride.

"Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken." Jeremiah 13:15

The pride of the old man can cause us to refuse to hear God's words.  As a result, our ears get closed to God as we become dull of hearing (Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 48:8; Jeremiah 7:24-26; Jeremiah 11:8; Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27; Hebrews 5:11).  Why?  Because the flesh wants to be pampered and comfortable; it does not want to be put out.  It wants to "be right" and do what it wants to do.

All of a sudden, God's ways become too hard and we decide to settle back into a world of religion where we can pretend that we are serving the Lord instead of letting Him continue to change us in the inward man.  What happens when we do this?  We begin to go spiritually backward.

"But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

How do you know you are devolving spiritually?  Your own appetites bear witness (Philippians 3:18-19).  Your desire for soulish,worldly things increases and your desire for the things of God decreases.  Don't be deceived by religious fervor and trying to "do" things for God; such is not the barometer for progression in Him.  Look at your soul.  Are you being transformed more each day to reflect the image of God's Son Jesus, or are you still just as bound by the same sins which ensnared you from the beginning?  If not, then as with the foolish virgins, the oil in your lamp begins to go out (Matthew 25:8).  What do we need to do to combat this?

"Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech." Isaiah 32:9

Rise up and fight against the old man which still tries to enslave you to this world.  Don't become proud and obstinate in your rebellion, but yield to the Father of Spirits and live!

"Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud." Psalm 123:4

Many have grown at ease with Babylon and the false peace it brings (Amos 6:1).  As in Nehemiah's day, God is calling upon a people who will rebuild the temple; who do not desire the compromises of Babylon, but seek the righteousness of the Lord to be restored.

The tough times, affliction, and persecution you experience as a result of the word of God being sown in your heart is not to discourage you, but to sharpen your ears for hearing. 

"He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression." Job 36:15

"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.  The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back." Isaiah 50:4-5

Just as the Lord awakes you each morning and gives you breath to live, He will likewise give you the ability to hear Him each day.  And just as the fact that you are breathing today does not guarantee that you will breath tomorrow, neither does the fact that you hear the Lord today mean you will hear Him tomorrow.  We must keep ourselves in a place of hearing, in a position of quiet rest before Him so that we can hear clearly.  We need our bread from Heaven daily!

How do you know what to do from day to day?  You need ears to hear.  How do you know to whom to minister?   You need ears to hear.  How do you know what to say?  You need ears to hear.

As the deception in these times increase dramatically, the need for us to hear and heed the word of God becomes more important than anything else in our lives.

"If any man have an ear, let him hear." Revelation 13:9

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