Focal Passage: Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21
I have five children (yes, I invite your prayers). So I am well aware that it is possible to hear, yet not really hear. I know my kids hear what their mother and I tell them, but it seems at times to go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes we have them repeat to us what we said to make sure they heard. Usually they can do it, but even this is no guarantee that they actually took it to heart. They conveniently hear only the parts they want.
This happens with adults at churches every Sunday. The preacher preaches, and many people do not hear. It’s not because the sound system was not loud enough, but because people’s hearts were not open to receive a word from God. It is possible to listen to the preacher and read the Bible, yet not truly hear what God is saying.
Jesus instructed John to write letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). These letters address specific issues in each church. They include His words of commendation and rebuke where necessary. In each letter He challenges the church to become overcomers by trusting in Him and aligning with His instruction. However, He ends each letter with the phrase, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Spiritual hearing is something God must grant us. We cannot assume that people hear just because they gather in our worship centers. We must labor in prayer. Pray for your church and yourself that you will have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. As you pray, position yourself to hear from God as well. James instructs Christians to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). Strive to eliminate all that hinders you from hearing, trusting and heeding God’s Word. Prepare your hearts to hear every time God’s Word is opened.
A.W. Tozer said, “Whatever engages my attention when I should be meditating on God and things eternal does injury to my soul.”