The ability to hear sounds, voices, music, laughter, thunder, babies cooing, and expressions of love is amazing. We probably don’t give much thought to our ability to hear on a daily basis but every once in a while we stop and listen, and can be completely enthralled as we hear the sounds of life.
Though natural hearing is extraordinary, Christians have an even more incredible gift of hearing; we get to hear spiritually by faith in Jesus Christ! The ability to hear what God says is simply “out of this world” remarkable!
Physical hearing is a gift we often take for granted because it comes so naturally for most people, that is, until we start experiencing hearing loss, and then we quickly realize how special and important a gift hearing truly is, and will take great measures to improve or restore our ability to hear.
Hearing loss is fairly common in America. It comes as a result of fluid backup in the ears from colds, infections, and allergies, a build-up of earwax, disease, eardrum perforations, drugs, genetics, head trauma, malformation of the inner ear, or exposure to loud noise. Age related hearing loss is even more common. According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated one-third of people aged 65-75 years old and one-half of people over age 75 have some degree of hearing loss. Though doctors can do much to improve hearing, they cannot “heal” hearing loss.
Spiritual hearing loss is just as common, coming as the result of spiritual backup, sin, the world, the devil, and even our own human reasoning. Of course, we have no estimates as to how many Christians even know they have the ability to hear spiritually and can suffer from spiritual hearing loss, but it is safe to say we all experience it at some point in differing degrees.
The biggest difference between physical and spiritual loss is the healing! While physical hearing loss can never be “healed” only improved, ALL spiritual hearing loss can be completely restored! No Christian need suffer with it because we have a spiritual hearing aid needing no batteries and He has no limitations. He is Holy Spirit! When we keep our Holy Spirit hearing aid on, taking heed how we hear Him, He reminds us never to settle for partial or improved hearing, and never accept or choose to live with hearing loss. He is willing to help us sift through and filter out the debris and ungodly things we hear and leave us with His pure, untainted truth!
There is a simple children’s song, “Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes” that speaks volumes about being careful, each verse concluding with, “For the Father up above is looking down in love; so be careful little eyes what you see, little ears what you hear, little minds what you think, little feet where you go, little hands what you do, etc.” What a great reminder that we are deeply loved by our heavenly Father so we must take care in what we allow to influence our lives in Jesus.
But there are times we can’t control what we see and hear because we are caught in “not so good” situations where what we see or hear leads to carelessness in our thinking, doing, or going. For example, we can be having a great conversation with people and suddenly it turns to gossip and slander. Even though we might leave the conversation immediately, what we heard can cloud our perception of other people, UNLESS, we know how to protect our hearing, thus preserve our spiritual ability to hear God.
Jesus has a remedy to prevent and/or heal spiritual hearing loss, and it works even in situations when we can’t control what we hear. Be careful how we hear!
“Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” Luke 8:18
Here Jesus is encouraging us to be careful how we hear because our ability to hear correctly will give us more ability to hear; while not being careful of how we hear makes us deaf so that even what we seem to have (or think we have) is taken from us.
The problem with physical hearing loss is it usually happens so gradually we don’t notice the loss until someone tells us or until the realization hits we miss most of what people say. Spiritual hearing can also fade so slowly we don’t realize something is wrong until we have lost all intimacy with God and other Christians, and are living under the circumstances instead of above. Then we start avoiding or distorting the truth of God’s Word, making it relevant for our sinful lives, without an awareness we just weren’t careful in how we heard.
You can tell how you are hearing by listening to what you are saying!
What we say is not just a reflection of what we hear, but HOW we hear! When we hear His Word, unmixed with worldly facts and advice, we speak in faith and we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! Tough trials and bad things are going to happen in this sinful world. That’s a given! But how we hear is instrumental in how we respond, what we say, how we stand in faith, how we believe and trust God, and if we will walk by faith and not by sight!
We might not be taking heed how we hear if:
- We speak and take out our frustrations on God, blaming Him for all the bad.
- We get mad at other people and stay that way
- We make up our own truth and create faith based on our own desires and perceptions.
- We listen to ourselves and others instead of immersing ourselves in the Bible, positioning ourselves with those He has appointed to equip us in the local Church.
- Our words betray our faith in a limitless, almighty, powerful God who is in love with us
- We talk about how hard it is to have faith in Jesus
- We complain about church not meeting “our” needs so shop for a church that “fits” us
- We tell others how we struggle to believe God and how we feel He has let us down.
- We get angry with God when bad things happen; then question His presence and providence in our lives.
- We get lackadaisical in faith; walking by sight not by faith
- We read, study, and meditate on the Word only occasionally if at all
- We fill our minds with worldly information and facts or mix those with the Word of God
- We treat church attendance as optional or when it’s convenient
- We make church about us, not Jesus
- We put family, job, sports, hobbies, and leisure above God
- We lose our desire to serve
- We take note of all the hypocrisy and sin among Christians so avoid them (as though we have no sin)
- We pray less or pray only when we need something
- We stop worshipping our heavenly Father in spirit and in truth
- We are ungrateful and unthankful
- We speak about our problems and struggles not about our blessings and victories in Jesus!
- We are mindful of the things of men, not God.
These symptoms progress and build on each other making us forget faith is a gift; that God said life would be tough but Jesus is tougher and He will never leave or forsake us; that church is not about us and meeting our needs but it’s about God and our oneness together in Christ; that our heavenly Father NEVER lets us down; and that He is in love with His children.
We can be healed from ALL these symptoms and it comes by paying attention to how we hear not what we hear; by getting our focus off of ourselves and onto Jesus; and by hearing His voice to drown out the voices of this world and our carnal thoughts. Humility is a necessity to hearing.
So exactly how do we take heed how we hear? That answer… in the next blog!