Listening with One Ear

July 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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There was a time when God’s people were in captivity for a period of 70 years as chastening for their disobedience and idolatry. During that time, they formally fasted and wept in the fifth and seventh months of each year. These practices were done in obedience to God’s law, but they were done halfheartedly, and God was not deceived.

Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

Zechariah 7:5-6

How often are we guilty of observing some type of religious routine without really doing it for the Lord? Have you ever read your Bible or done your devotions with only half of your mind engaged? Doing the assignment or reading the regularly scheduled passage without really listening for the voice of God to speak to you personally? How often do we sit through church sermons with one ear attuned to the preaching of God’s Word and the other ear tuned to other matters, drifting in and out of attentiveness as though we were attending a history lecture or a math lesson while waiting for the school bell to ring?

There is a real danger that, in our selfishness and laziness, we will miss out on what God wants us to know. His Work and His Spirit were not given for our amusement and they are not optional if we are to live victorious Christian lives. God has given us a great gift in being able to listen to His voice through the reading, preaching, and teaching of His Word. The consequences of listening casually without really hearing can be dire.

But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

Zechariah 7:11-14

A man with only one ear engaged when God is speaking may not necessarily hear half as MUCH as the man with two ears, but the problem is that he only hears half as WELL.

Preparing to Hear from God: Receptive

January 15, 2014 at 11:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Last time we thought about preparing to hear from God by intentionally getting R.eady. Now we will focus on being:

R.eceptive

Receptive means willing to receive. God doesn’t speak to people so that they can evaluate it and determine whether it might be true. We need to be receptive to hearing from God in two ways:

1. Accept what God says.

We need to believe – not reject – what God says. Jesus would sometimes say, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear,” because not everybody wanted to hear from Jesus for the right reasons. The Pharisees wanted to evaluate His Words or find fault with Him so they could accuse Him. His parables made sense to those who were ready to receive the truth.

2. Agree with God.

Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.

Ezra 10:11 (emphasis added)

Confession is not admitting you got caught. It’s agreeing with God – that what He says about anything is right, including what He says about you and me.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John 1:9 (emphasis added)

Next time, we will think about being responsive in our preparation to hear from God.


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