Keys to Listening to God: PART 3-Sharpening Your Spiritual Hearing


There’s an old saying, and in a nutshell, it states that people who want to be their best for God must constantly do a check-up from the neck up. This means of course that we need to keep ourselves on point. It’s critical to do this because we can become so engrossed on what is happening in the world, or even what is going on in our faith communities, that we take our eyes off the ball. We begin to pay more attention to what is happening externally than we do internally. To make sure we don’t go too far off the rails, we need to put ourselves in check, because not doing so means we could slip and not even realize it. We can be going about our everyday business when all of a sudden, “WHAMMM!” Something happens right out of the blue and knocks us for a loop. If we had been more alert and kept our eyes locked on Jesus Christ, we would have recognized the warnings and saved ourselves a whole lot of trouble.

Keeping our spiritual hearing fine-tuned is a must. There are deep things of the Spirit that Heavenly Father wants to communicate, but many of us haven’t shown ourselves ready to hear it. One example of what this looks like can be found in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. The twelve disciples walked and talked with Jesus during his ministry on earth. They saw him perform miracles, and he taught them many things, but there was much that he didn’t teach them. In John 16, after they shared the last supper together, Jesus Christ knew that it would be his last time to really share his heart with them, but because of their immaturity, he gave them milk, instead of meat.

Many Jewish people living during this time were looking forward to the grandeur and prominence of bygone ages to be restored. The disciples were also of this mind. They were expecting Jesus to set up God’s Kingdom on earth any moment, thereby restoring Israel to what they believed to be its rightful place of importance. The disciples were probably expecting positions of authority and prestige. They believed this to be much of why Jesus came. Indeed, he had come to make a more than abundant life available to all, but it was on a scale far above and beyond the mindset of fleshly pursuits and prestige, and it was infinitely more than what the disciples or anyone else could have imagined.

He was going away, and the news of this was in and of itself a shock that confounded their intellectual senses. In John 16:7(NLT), He told them, But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.” Christ’s departure was an absolute necessity for the coming of the Holy Spirit. No joy on earth can capture the splendor of what Jesus had conveyed to them in John 16:7, but the disciples couldn’t see it. The gift of Holy Spirit is phenomenal news, and Jesus wanted to tell them more. He said in John 16:12(NLT), “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.”

In Hebrews 5:11(NKJV), the Apostle Paul tells us more about the danger of dull hearing. He said, “of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” Paul had no problem speaking what he had heard from the Lord Jesus Christ. The issue wasn’t him, it was the hearers. The problem was that people had allowed their spiritual hearing to become dull. God’s Word is alive! Digesting His Word transforms us! It changes something on the inside. Heavenly Father encourages us to ingest a healthy dose of His Word daily so that we grow strong spiritual muscles. We’re to exercise them in faith by believing God no matter what we face. But many of us haven’t done this, so when we face a really tough situation, we find that we lack the spiritual strength to quickly overcome it with faith. This is what Paul conveyed in Hebrews 5. He went on to tell them that they hadn’t progressed in knowledge of the Word and were still needing milk instead of meat.

Romans 10:17(NLT) states, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Faith comes by hearing the Word of God; therefore, we need to be reading and studying the Word to grow spiritually. One of the reasons why some of us are repeatedly attacked is because the devil knows we’re not sharpening our spiritual hearing, but we are allowing it to grow duller every day. Life on earth is not a game. It’s serious business. It’s spiritual warfare and we need to have our armor on all the time.

Paul told the Hebrew believers that their spiritual hearing was too dull to ear and understand the meat that he needed to give them. They wouldn’t be able to understand it because they hadn’t built a foundation on which greater revelation could rest. Some of them were caught up in emotionalism, like many of us, and didn’t take care to feed their minds with the intellect of the Spirit. God wants us to be transformed, so that we are fully persuaded in faith. We cannot return to old habit patterns of feeding our spirit-man one day a week. Our souls will be mal-nourished this way. We must hold tightly to our relationship with God and tune our ears to Him continually. We must make the conscious decision to walk, talk, and hear from the Father through the Holy Spirit that indwells us. The Spirit will tell us the mind of Christ, so that we can be spiritually sharp and walk confidently in God’s Will. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Keys to Listening to God: PART 3- Sharpening Your Spiritual Hearing”,  written by JMack,© 2019. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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