(Part 2 of 3)
PROBLEM AREAS IN HEARING…
A) Closing your mind… Psalm 95:7-8, Hebrews 3:7-8… “Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (NASB). In this psalm, the people were exhorted to sing, coming into God’s presence with worship. Beck’s translation says, “Today if you hear Him speak, don’t close your minds.” This is a big problem. There are folk who just don’t want to grow spiritually. Perhaps they are afraid of commitment or changes. Closing your mind to what God is saying is bad enough, but resisting is even worse. Anger closes off hearing really quickly. We are responsible for what we hear with our ears and for what we feed our souls.
B) Wrong assumptions… 2 Kings 5:1-14… Naaman went to Elisha for healing. Elisha didn’t come out, but he did send his servant with a message to “Dip in Jordan seven times.” Naaman was angry and he said, “I thought surely he would come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord.” Wrong assumption is taking something for granted; presuming God would say this or do it that way, especially the way we think He should say it or do it. Wrong assumptions almost cost Naaman his healing. He almost rejected God’s will for his healing. He almost missed it. This is a big problem area. Remember when Hannah was praying and Eli saw her. He assumed that she was drunk. It has been said: “Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge.” Assumption always lets you down.
C) Loss of the fear of God… Exodus 20:18-20… Before and after giving the Law, Mount Sinai shook with the presence of God with lightning, thunder, noise clouds, smoke, and shakings. Moses said, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (v. 20, KJV). When people lose their fear of God, they often stop hearing. They will postpone actions such as repentance, work, commitments, and responsibilities. We need to know that God will punish lazy ears. Psalm 101:4 says, “I will not know a wicked person.” Romans 11:22 says, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God.” Psalm 19:9 says, “The fear of the LORD is clean.” Psalm 15:4 says, “He honoureth them that fear the LORD.” Psalm 34:9 teaches, “There is no want to them that fear him.” Great men in the Old and New Testaments, when confronted by the presence of God, fell on their faces with great fear. God had to say, “Fear not.”
D) Impurities in the heart… Matthew 15:18… “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (KJV). These things get in through the “eye gate” and the “ear gate.” We communicate that which is in us. People do hear the contents of our heart by the spirit in which something is said. We are responsible for what we plant in our hearts. People often hold on to bitterness and close their ears to the message of forgiveness. People hold on to hate and refuse to listen to the message of love. People hold on to lying and refuse to hear the message of speaking the truth. People hear a message on coveting and greed, and refuse to hear the message, finding out later that it will cost them. Not dealing with problems in the heart will hinder hearing. “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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