(Part 3 of 3)
E) Lack of discipline… James 1:19… “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath” (KJV). Most of the time we have it backwards. We blow up first, shoot off our mouths, and then we say, “What was that you said?” Good hearing is an investment. Listening is an investment. Mark 4:24-25… “Unto you that hear shall more be given.” Psalm 97:8 says, “Zion heard, and was glad.” The Apostle John was on the isle of Patmos. As he began to worship in his predicament, John heard the voice of the Lord and received revelation for the church. The revelation, in a nutshell, was that Jesus won and the devil lost. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). Discipline yourself to hear. Often we hear the word but if nothing happens in a few seconds, we throw it away.
F) Fear… Mark 9:31-32… When Jesus talked about His death, burial, and resurrection, the disciples didn’t understand what He was saying because they were afraid to ask Him. They were afraid to reveal their lack of understanding. Fear of asking for an explanation prevents understanding of the truth and keeps people in a quandary. Jesus wants to deliver folks from negative fear. Fear robs you of victory. Many folk fear the message of hell, of eternal death and separation from God. Many folk do not want to believe they will be convicted for their sin. Many people fear a true prophetic ministry. Some folk fear coming forward for prayer.
G) Spiritual warfare… Ephesians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5… In war, each side tries to intercept the other side’s communication. Satan is out to distort God’s message to us. He wants to scramble it and make it unintelligible. He tries to prevent our reception by much static. Matthew 13:19… It was the devil who stole the word from the man who heard but did not understand. God is not going to give us a mixed signal. His word is clear and pure and without deceit. The Bible will always back up the truth. God will never lie to you. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Jesus is the truth. The word of God is the truth. A half-truth is a dangerous thing, especially if you get a hold of the wrong half. Life is short, but truth works far and lives long, and we find God through it.
Conclusion… A Spirit-filled life wants to hear. In these last days, we need to develop our hearing. God wants attentiveness–it’s an investment. Remember Simeon? His name means “hearkening”; it’s a covering. It’s not wrong to confess, “Lord, forgive me for not hearing correctly. Lord, awaken my ears to hear what you are saying in our church.” The word “listen” in the Bible is used only once in the King James, in Isaiah 49:1. It means, “to hear intelligently with attention and obedience and understanding.”
How can I hear from the Lord? Expect to hear. Be ready to receive. Tune in to Him as you would to a radio. Surrender to His guidance. Listen in your inner man. Your own spirit is not dumb. Keep alert in your mind and listen to His voice. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21, KJV). Train your ear to hear Him. A man went to a football game taking his little dog with him. It got away from him and landed on the playing field. Everybody in the stands started to call the dog. It just stood still until it recognized his master’s voice and ran towards him. So also as saints, we need to stand still when we hear confusing voices and tune in to the voice of Jesus. In Acts 2:2, the 120 first heard a sound and it changed the world. In Acts 13:2, the Antioch church heard the word, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul.” They obeyed, and Asia and Europe turned to Christ in great numbers. Can you say like Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:10, “Speak; for thy servant heareth”?
Pastor George Belobaba
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