Do You Have Ears To Hear?
Posted by Karen Kinnaird, March 28, 2023
I don’t know about you, but I am so glad the mask mandate is over! I find it hard to hear people when they are speaking while wearing a mask. Especially in a noisy place, I had to keep asking people to repeat themselves so I could understand what they were saying. It reminds me of my childhood playing underwater in a pool, trying to hear my friends talk with muffled and muddled words.
Jesus makes many references in the Bible to hearing. Often, we hear Him say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Of course, Jesus is not referring to physical hearing. This isn’t the kind of hearing that can be improved by taking off a mask or eliminating background noise. Did you know this phrase “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” or ones like it is in the New Testament about twenty times? The phrase is mostly in the gospels, but in Revelation, each of the letters to the seven churches includes this same statement, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
There are several characteristics of those who have ears to hear and those who don’t.
Those who don’t have ears to hear, hear sounds but are tuned out. They lack understanding so they can’t respond. Their hearts are dull. Some are not ready to hear. Some may be indifferent. Some are so distracted that they can’t hear. Some intentionally refuse to listen and refuse to obey, resulting in hard hearts. That results in spiritual insensitivity. We see that described in the book of Isaiah and Jeremiah regarding the nation of Israel.
On the flip side, those who do have ears to hear are blessed because they understand. They are willing to lean in and accept God’s truth. It sinks in. These are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit. Those who hear acquire some understanding and then want more and receive more, sometimes 30, 60, and 100 times more. They have insight into spiritual things and act on it. They have something to show- spiritual fruit. Hearing is not really hearing at all if the message is not acted upon!
When I was a senior in college, I had an increasing desire for spiritual things. These days, I might be classified as a “seeker.” I tried to read my Bible, but I couldn’t understand it. As a matter of fact, a guy I was dating tried to help and bought me a Good News version of the Bible because it’s simpler to read. I tried, but I still couldn’t understand it. 2 Corinthians 4 states that the gospel is hidden to those who have not accepted Christ. Satan literally blinds the mind of unbelievers. It wasn’t until someone showed me from the Bible what it really meant to be a Christian and led me to accept Jesus as Savior did I start to understand spiritual things. The Holy Spirit living in me began to gradually illuminate what I was reading. I was starting to hear. I still have that Good News Bible today inscribed with the words, “With Love, Dennis,” on the presentation page!
What can we do to have ears to hear?
I urge you to accept Christ today if you haven’t already. Settle the issue of who you will spend your life serving and where you will spend eternity. To hear Him, you must know Him.
Read your Bible. God speaks primarily through His Word. Read it consistently, uninterrupted, when you are alert, with a pen in your hand to write down the verses that speak to you.
Pray for God to give you ears to hear. Ask God to give you sensitivity to His voice and ask for understanding. Pray for your ears to be highly attuned to His activity.
Slow down, be quiet, and create a lifestyle with space in your heart and mind. We live in a culture in which we are bombarded with information that leaves our minds on overload. To tune in to God, we need to tune out the distractions of notifications, cell phones, 24/7 TV and news, social media, and unlimited podcasts. Consider setting aside time to unplug.
Aggressively cooperate with God. Put into practice what you are learning and do what God tells you to do. Most of us don’t need to obtain more knowledge; we need to put what we know into action. As we act upon what God says, our understanding will increase. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 4, “Consider carefully what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.”
I want to have ears to hear. What about you? Do you have ears to hear? What is He saying to you?
Karen Kinnaird currently serves as the Executive Assistant for Forgiving Forward Ministries. She has been a minister’s wife for nearly 38 years and has served on local church staff and state denominational positions. An award winning blogger, Karen has a passion for encouraging women searching for hope. Karen and her husband Jimmy moved to the Atlanta area in 2021 from Oklahoma City where he now serves as the Association Missionary Strategist for Fairburn Baptist Association. Karen and Jimmy, also known as Gigi and Poppy, have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.