The parables of Jesus enable us to understand His teaching and messages more clearly. A story creates a picture in our minds and, when quickened by the Holy Spirit, leaves an imprint of learning and challenge. Remember the tale of the Governor who told his farm hand to climb down into the well on the rope, to retrieve a bucket that had fallen in. The Governor assured him that the rope was long enough. The man climbed down, using the rope, into the dark and damp interior. Slowly and carefully he made his descent. Eventually, he realised he had come to the end of the rope and panic began to grip him, as his feet were not on the bottom. Exhausted from the descent, overwhelmed with fear, the Master’s words rang in his ears hopelessly, “The rope is long enough!” Sweating and weak, he could hold on no longer and dropped, letting go of the rope………two inches!
The master said the rope was long enough. How many of us, in the midst of a trial, have either forgotten, or entered into unbelief, after God has given us His word on something? The danger lies in making the adverse situation bigger than the greatness of our God. Do we forget, like the Israelites in the wilderness, the many miracles that have strewn our path, in God’s goodness and mercy to us? Have I become over familiar with my Father’s blessings?
Throughout the gospels Jesus challenges again and again, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear”, Matthew 11:15. Do I let God’s Word fall on deaf ears? Some may call this selective hearing……because it challenges my personal agendas or is inconvenient to me. We serve an inconvenient God who ruthlessly, (and thankfully), pursues His agenda, His divine purpose to bring me, and you, to the fullness of the stature of His Son, (Ephesians 4:13).
Have I become so familiar with His written Word that I can be selective in obeying it in part, when He has made clear the path of a disciple? If I allow my natural and spiritual biases to influence me against God’s clear Word in scripture, these are strongholds in my life that need removing. My personal biases that do not line up with scripture are enmity against my Saviour and will result in spiritual instability of being double minded.
There is another type of hearing. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns of having itching ears. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”. The milk sops of idle tales, or unsound doctrine, will not enable me to walk in the Master’s footsteps.
How much do I hear but not retain? If I do not focus on what I am hearing, paying attention, then I am disregarding it. I need listening ears.
I expect we have all known people who talk incessantly, very often about themselves and their achievements, giving little time for others to contribute to the conversation. Full vessels! You cannot fill a full vessel. They do not have a listening ear.
Do I listen 1) For God to speak 2)Take notice when He does?
I need to incline my ear to Him to listen. If I find myself unable to hear Him for the clamour of everyday life, then I need to take time to set myself apart, (as Jesus often did), to commune and listen to my Father. He is well able to speak clearly to me amid the clamour, but if I don’t hear Him there, I need to make time to listen and hear.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice”, John 10:27. If my experience says I am not hearing, then the question is: “What did you do with the last word He gave you?” If I disobey, His voice gets fainter then silent. As I obey, His voice gets clearer. Jesus words are ever with us: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” . Hear and obey. If I disobey I become dull of hearing.
Psalm 116 assures us that God’s ear is inclined towards us. He hears our every cry, our every prayer of supplication and every word of praise, worship and thanksgiving to Him. He is never too busy to listen to us. Are we sometimes guilty of being too busy to listen to Him? Even in the busyness of every day life, there is a place of rest for our hearts we can enter in to. If our ear is inclined to Him, attuned to Him, we will hear. It is a two way street. What is the secret of hearing even in the clamour? The absence of personal agenda and rights! If God’s purposes have preeminence in my life, all mine must be surrendered and the dying must be daily done. In this position I find I can hear clearly as the Lord speaks and communes with me and I do not get side tracked, or lose the awareness of His presence. Every vestige of self interest given preeminence causes me to be dull of hearing. I can sing heartily in a Gathering with the anointing of God heavily upon me, “I surrender all”. God will come for my words in the school of life and present me with the challenge: Do you? Life bristles with opportunities to wholly serve and follow the Lord. “Choose ye, this day, whom ye will serve!” Joshua 24:15
He that has ears to hear, let him hear!