Although hearing God’s voice has been touched on in previous lessons, I want to zero in on the one thing that enables us to hear clearly from God.
The Lord asked me years ago, “How does faith come?” I immediately said “Faith comes by hearing Lord.” (quoting Romans 10:17). The Lord then asked: “So then how does hearing come?”
I did not have a quick answer for Him, but I was reminded of all the scriptures that state: “he who has ears to hear let him hear,” and passages that said, “they had ears but could not hear and eyes but could not see.” I began to see why people who confess Jesus as Lord have the appearance of faith but are struggling in their Christian walk and getting little results. They don’t have a hearing ear … so faith never comes.
The common teaching is that faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing etc. And there is truth to that line of thought. The thing that has not been taught is that there are different ways to hear and there is a difference between natural hearing and spiritual hearing.
Let me give you a more accurate translation of this verse to make it clear.
ROM 10:17 (paraphrase) ~ So then faith comes by what you hear, and your hearing comes from the Word of God that you act upon.
Just because we have ears does not mean we are capable of hearing the Word. Our spiritual ears, (our heart,) can only be opened by the Word of God. That word will come from the written, as well as the spoken Word, but only the word that we act on will develop our spiritual ears. When we are obedient, it demonstrates faith and we become receptive to more instruction. Obedience is the action of faith, disobedience is the action of doubt. Faith without the work of obedience is a dead faith, and dead faith has deaf spiritual ears.
Throughout the bible, it is the disobedient and rebellious people who “had ears but could not hear.”
Deuteronomy 29:4 ~ Yet the LORD hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
Jeremiah 5:21 ~ Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
Ezekiel 12:2 ~ Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Spiritual hearing comes from the word of God that we act upon. If we find ourselves unable to rightly discern God’s voice, we should humble ourselves before the Father and ask Him why. If we are rebellious or disobedient in any way, He will reveal it to us if we are sincere.
There are vast realms of understanding and revelation that we will never acquire if we are not doers of the word. If we do not act on what we have heard, the bible says we are deceiving ourselves. When we hear the word and do nothing about it, we become spiritually deaf.
James 1:22 ~ But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Once we obey the Word of God, a wonderful cycle of begins. Acting on the word gives life to our faith and develops our ability to hear from the Lord, which in turn opens us up to hear more, which gives us more opportunity to act on what we hear, which gives life to our faith …. And the cycle goes on. It is called spiritual growth.
If the Word of God is sown in our heart and we refuse to act on it (rebellion), the devil has the right to come steal it from us. This is the condition that we see in the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:19 ~ When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
There are too many “way side” Christians in the Church today. The spiritual condition of the Church as a whole is poor, in part because of the inability to hear what the Lord is saying to this generation.
Matthew 13:9-13 ~ He who has ears, let him hear.” 10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
When Jesus called the twelve He said to them: “Come.” They acted on that word and continued to follow Him. Because they acted on the word, THEY HAD EARS TO HEAR MORE. Lets look at the rest of this passage.
Matthew 13:14-15 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
Lack of spiritual hearing comes from unbelief. Unbelief is a deception of the heart that manifests itself in many ways. It can come in the form of rebellion, disobedience, lack of understanding, spiritual laziness, pride, or selfishness.
If we allow ourselves to continue in unbelief we create strongholds that the enemy can hide behind and strengthen our deception, causing us to hear even less.
God has already spoken many things in His written word. Why would He be inclined to say anything else if we are not interested in what He already said?
If we find out what God has already spoken and act on THAT. This will give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.
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