Updated: Apr 17, 2022
There are many common reasons why we may feel or become distant in our spiritual walk with God. One of the reasons is not inquiring and having spiritual "check up's" with yourself and with God. The signs of spiritual attacks can be easily detected when we allow ourselves to guided by Holy Spirit through leadership and by personal teaching. We may not feel that it is necessary to need a spiritual check up with Holy Spirit and or leadership however if we want to walk in spiritual prosperity and wholeness then it comes with a process.
Today I am going to share a lesson in a series entitled "Spiritual Wellness"...
Just as we may have periodic checkups to gauge our physical well-being, we should also consider our spiritual man. So we should frequently examine our spiritual wellness in regards to serving God. Our spiritual checkup begins with checking our hearing.
Why hearing? Simply because this where we access our spiritual covenant with God. When we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ is activates and stirs up faith. We must have faith and we must listen to the Words of Christ. We must take heed and listen to the voice of God.
We often find Jesus saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"...
What is the point of these sayings...?
What is being said is important, so you had better pay attention! - Mk 4:23-25, "23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Then He said to them, “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. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even …
It suggests a problem that often exists today: many simply do not hear to understand. We are surrounded by a people who have ears but do not hear to listen, learn and grow.
I am convinced that many do not appreciate the importance of good listening...
It certainly concerned Jesus
So I believe it is appropriate to ask, "How Well Do You Hear?"
Let's begin by pointing out there are:
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEARERS
THOSE HARD OF HEARING...
Isaiah wrote of such people, and Jesus applied it to many in His day - Mt 13:13-15
People are this way because they are dull of heart and have closed their eyes to truth.
-- This prevents one from understanding God's grace and being saved by Him.
THOSE DULL OF HEARING...
Some of the Hebrew Christians were like this - He 5:11, "of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing."
When a person has this problem, it is hard for others to explain things to them!
-- The fault is not with the subject material, nor the presenter, but the hearer!
THOSE WITH ITCHING EARS...
Such people will listen only to that which is pleasing - 2 Ti 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
They don't like sound doctrine (which often requires negative preaching) - 2 Ti 4:2, Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."
-- Many today are often afflicted with this hearing problem!
THOSE WITH GOOD AND NOBLE HEARTS...
Jesus spoke of these in His parable of the Sower - Lk 8:15, "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."
The Bereans were hearers of this kind, receiving the word with readiness - Ac 17:11, "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
-- This is the kind of hearer we all should be!
Why is it so important to be this kind of hearer? There are several reasons:
IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HEARING
TO BEING BLESSED...
For those willing to hear properly, there are wonderful things to learn - Mt 13:16-17, "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
Things which great people (David, Daniel, etc.) did not have the opportunity to learn.
-- We miss out on these blessings if we do not carefully hear!
TO SAVING FAITH...
God has ordained that we be saved through faith in Christ - Ro 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for wit is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”"
Such faith comes through the gospel, often involving listening to a preacher - Ro 10:14,17, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
-- Does your hearing hinder the development of your faith?
TO BEARING FRUIT...
In the parable of the Sower, the soil bearing fruit was the one which heard properly - Lk 8:15, "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience."
That is because bearing fruit comes from understanding the grace of God! - Col 1:6, "which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;"
-- By hearing well we understand God's grace, and thus motivated to bear fruit!
TO PREVENT APOSTASY...
There is a real danger of drifting, by neglecting "so great a salvation" - He 2:1-3
The only solution is to "give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard"
-- Poor hearing is often the first step to apostasy!
TO AVOID REJECTION...
If unwilling to hear, those teaching God's Word have a right to reject us - Mt 10:14-15
We are judge ourselves unworthy of eternal life - Ac 13:44-49
-- Unwilling to hear leads to fewer opportunities to learn the truth!
TO ESCAPE CONDEMNATION...
By the men of Nineveh who repented after one lesson - Mt 12:41
By the queen of the South who traveled a great distance to hear Solomon - Mt 12:42
-- Unwilling to hear the Son of God brings condemnation by others!
Hopefully, we better appreciate the opportunities we have to hear God's Word, and the importance of good hearing! How then can we improve our ability to hear? Here are some:
STEPS TO BETTER HEARING
MAKE HEARING AN ACT OF WORSHIP...
How you listen to God's word being read or preached is as much an indication of your devotion to God as to how you pray or sing. When you have opportunities to hear the Word of God, do it with "a worshipful attitude" It's when you don't want to hear the word of God at all that you're starting to fall away - and don't even know it.
-- Does not the proclamation of God's Word deserve our rapt attention?
LISTEN FROM FIRST TO LAST...
In other words pay attention, in today's society we barely listen all the way through to get full understanding. We think we don't need to. We go to many things going on. Slow down. Stop and actually consider your life.
If you have the time to read other books and watch movies but have no desire and ability to read the bible and hear the word are you serious about your Salvation? Do you expect to understand a novel by simply reading a sentence here and there?
So it is with listening...to understand we must hear the fullness of what God's word is saying. If we are listening only to men for our source of the Word of God and are not studying for ourselves we can become dull of hearing for ourselves.
-- So hearers must listen to ALL the parts to truly understand
LOOK AT THE SPEAKER...
When we are hearing a teacher be focused. Look at the person giving the word. This greatly aids your concentration. This requires self-discipline, but it is conducive to developing a longer attention span. We have become very use to other vices in the world but fail to honor ourselves and those who teacher and equip the body of Christ.
-- Try it, and see if it doesn't make a difference!
LEAN FORWARD IF NECESSARY...
Your sitting position can impact your ability to hear. Posture your heart to listen and stay alert to catch the revelation from the message. (Often times God has used teachers and mentors in my life to reveal even deeper revelations because I was willing to listen and hear. And yes I have been the person also who got way to comfortable and missed the entire message. A too relaxing position makes it easier for your mind to wander (or sleep!)
-- Try this too, and see if it doesn't make a difference!
READ ALONG IN YOUR BIBLE...
You remember more of what you both see and hear over what you simply hear. I encourage you to actually follow along and be attentive. Retaining the lessons and the teachings instills a readiness within our spirit to walk according to the bible. Plus, your knowledge of the Scriptures can be greatly improved by doing this.
-- We want our children to do this, shouldn't we provide the example?
HEAR WITH FAITH...
Listen with a willingness to accept and believe what is shown in God's Word. Believe and activate that child-like faith and wonder of the LORD. This is where we actually plant ourselves in grace to learn and grow. Notice He 4:1-2; those who died in the wilderness did not hear with faith!
-- If we don't hear with faith, we will fall short of our heavenly rest!
HEAR WITH A MIND TO ACT...
Are we like the people in Ezekiel's day? - Eze 33:30-32
Hearing must be accompanied by doing to be of any profit - Jm 1:22-25
-- As important as hearing may be, the blessedness comes only if we are doers as well!
How important, then, is good hearing...?
When it comes to hearing God, very important! - Isa 55:2-3
It is essential for the good of our soul!
Is there ever a time when God does not hear...?
Yes, when our sins are between us and God - Isa 59:1-2
But we can take care of that problem by receiving God's Mercy - Isa 55:6-7
Today, that mercy is offered through Jesus Christ, God's Son. And as God said:
"This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Lk 9:35)
Have you heeded Him by obeying His word? Or does the following cry of Jesus apply to you...?
"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Lk 6:46)
Next in our "Spiritual Wellness" checkup, we shall ask "How Well Do You Read?"...
Do you have the desire for the word? Many struggle in their Christian walk because of too many other elements in their life. We can become stagnant in our walk with God simply because of the idols that get in the way of our activity of reading. How well do you read?
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