Scott and Kristi's New Old House

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Word Power

# 7 Hearing Words

Jesus had a lot to say about hearing and what we hear. In Mark 4:23-24, Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” This tells us to take heed, or pay close attention to, what we hear. I believe it also implies that we need to develop a “hearing ear”.

What or how we hear affects the thoughts that we think, and even the words we speak, or the actions we take in response to what or how we hear. What we hear can influence us for good or bad. When we constantly listen to depressing or violent words, it affects our thinking about ourselves and maybe about life in general. Or if we hear good, positive things about ourselves, it makes us feel good, and can change how we look at ourselves.

When we listen to someone speak, are we hearing with preconceived ideas? Are we listening with biases that color and influence what we hear? At some point in our lives, we have probably all taken offense to something someone has said, and responded, “What’s
that supposed to mean?”. Are we listening to prove someone wrong, or are we listening to hear truth? Are we listening with “selective” hearing, so that we tune out everything we don’t want to hear? That’s like the old saying, “In one ear, and out the other.” Or are we listening intently to glean all we can from what’s being said?

“Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use it will be measured to you, and to you who hear, more will be given.” This scripture also brings to my mind the question, are we good listeners? When people talk to us, do we really listen to them? If the same measure that we listen with will be measured back to us, will anyone really listen to us? Or will they tune us out like we have tuned other people out?

The Old Testament in the Bible (Numbers 13) tells us the story of the 12 spies. The Israelites had been miraculously delivered from the Egyptians, crossed the Red Sea and were in the desert waiting to cross over into the Promised Land. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to spy out the land and report back to him. When they returned, two of them, Joshua and Caleb, had a good report of a land flowing with milk and honey and that the Israelites were well able to conquer the inhabitants of the land. However, the other 10 spies reported that there were giants in the land that made them look like grasshoppers, and they could not take the land. The people in the desert believed the “evil” report, or the negative report of the 10, instead of believing the good report given by Joshua and Caleb. They then wandered around in the desert until they died. They did not see the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb did! While this is talking about what they believed, I think it also points to what and how they “heard”. They obviously did not have a hearing ear to hear what God was saying. They didn’t hear truth! This is a good example of the majority being wrong.

The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” If faith comes by hearing, we need to be hearing the right words. It is important for us to be hearing the Word of God. It’s also good when we hear ourselves speaking it.

In hearing God’s Word, do we stretch our minds – stretch our faith – listen intently for the voice of God, listen intently to hear truth, hear life? To hear in the Spirit, see in the Spirit? Do we listen for His voice? Do we measure out our hearing in large, finely-tuned doses to be able to hear more? For the more we hear, the more we will be given. Jesus said in Mark 4:11 that we have been given the ability to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God. So if we listen, we will hear! Jesus also said in John 10:1-18 that He is the Good Shepherd and His sheep know His voice. If we are born again believers, we know His voice. Let us listen with hearing ears for His voice in everything we hear or listen to. There is life in His words. His words have power that can change our lives.