“Whoever has ears, let them hear.”- Matthew 11:15
Something routine that can feel a bit difficult and stressful is taking a HEARING TEST. Many have donned headphones to listen for random beeping sounds in measuring the quality of one’s hearing. I can’t speak for everyone out there, but after a while I feel like I hear something every other second.
When it comes to our faith, what we hear and who we hear from is essential. In Romans 10:17 Paul tells us, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Here are questions to better determine how well we hear:
1) What process do we use in our decision-making?
2) How do we determine what God’s will is for a particular area?
3) Who are the voices that you allow to speak and influence you?
These questions remind me of when I needed to hire someone for a job project last year and we had a friend who did this very line of work. What seemed like a match made in heaven came with a hesitancy, due to a negative report someone shared with me about the individual. I decided to trust my friend with the job and to my delight they exceeded our expectations (this was the fourth time we had done this type of project and they were the best at it)! The lesson from this moment was clear to me: Be careful who you choose to listen to and believe. I chose a friend who was an expert in that field over a critic who simply had a sour experience and attitude.
Throughout the New Testament we see warnings not listen to and follow any given voice/message. These believers lived in times of people twisting the truth, false prophets, selfish/hidden agendas, even claims that Jesus had never raised from the dead or had already returned to the earth. 1 John 4:1 warns, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
We must be careful not to blindly follow or quickly rush into agreement with all that we hear out there. In our present day there are many messages, claims, grandiose proclamations coming from so many sources, news outlets, and public forums. People have quite a lot to say about politics, social issues, moral beliefs, and spiritual truths. In 2 Timothy 4:3 Paul conveys what failed hearing looks like, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to tell say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Let’s allow for a new, faith hearing test take place in our lives. One that is not stressful, but sheds light on knowing God’s will for our lives, hearing the Spirit speak specific answers we need, choosing what is right and true, finding godly people who deliver godly instruction. As we read the Word, as we wait in prayer, and as we submit to others we can better hear exactly what God wants to speak to our hearts!