What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Last week we discussed the power we hold in one of our smallest body members, the tongue. We saw how dangerous it can be if left uncontrolled and ruled by our sinful nature. We also saw how profitable it can be for God’s kingdom if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide its use. This week we will look at the body member that has the most influence on our mind, the ears. In the King James Version of the Bible the word ear or ears is used 271 times. I’m pretty sure that means God wants to make sure we listen. Some of those are referring to ears of corn but most relate to hearing. As powerful as our tongue is, our ear is just as essential. Without hearing the tongue has no power.
My wife often tells me that I can’t hear, usually when she’s trying to tell me something. My hearing is not as acute as it once was due to years of working in noisy environments, however my hearing isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s the listening that I sometimes have trouble with. Listening to her requires that I focus on what she is saying. If I am reading or listening intently to a television program or simply lost in thought it can be difficult to instantly shift my focus to what she is saying and I have to ask her to repeat what she just said. Fortunately, asking her to repeat something is not normally a major problem, other than being a bit frustrating for her. But what if she is in trouble and needs my help? What if what she just said is a sensitive matter that she had to muster up the courage to say even once and can’t bear to repeat? Because she is my wife, there should always be at least a small part of my brain that is attentive to her and when a need arises should signal the rest of my being to fully focus on her and call me to action. The same goes for her. That’s the best part of a marriage, having contentment in knowing you have one person who will always be there for you.
In the same manner, Christians should always be ready to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. God is always ready to hear us when we call on Him. By His amazing grace He allows us to be His voice, hands, and feet here in this world, but that can’t happen if we do not allow Him to consecrate our ears to hear Him. When we fail in our readiness to hear what He says there can be eternal consequences. I know I have failed in that regard many times but one instance in particular still haunts my memory from time to time. The Spirit once nudged me to call a former coworker that I hadn’t seen in a few years. Although I knew he was not a believer, that day I was “too busy”. Months went by and the thought of him never entered my mind. When I finally tried to call he didn’t answer. When I began tracking him down I discovered that he had committed suicide about the same time that I was urged to call him. Maybe I was the one who could have talked him out of that decision, maybe I could have led him to Jesus. Maybe not. I’ll never know for sure. I do know I am forgiven, but it was a harsh lesson to show me how crucial it is to keep my ears ready to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. It’s a lesson that will stay with me the rest of my life.
As Christians we need to be careful what we allow our ears to hear. If we constantly listen to the ungodliness and hate that is prevalent in our world we will become bitter and callous and therefore useless to God. Our ears should be tuned to always hear the cries for help, knowing that sometimes, most times, those cries are not verbal. We can hear them clearly through the voice of urging from the Holy Spirit. Just as we should always have a part of our hearing attentive to our spouse, another part should always be listening for directions from God. We must spend time each day not only in reading and studying God’s word but in prayer. The Bible teaches us to “Pray without ceasing” (1Th. 5:17). When we abide in Christ then His voice becomes familiar to us and we can quickly respond when He calls. I can hear my wife’s voice across a crowded room because I am familiar with her voice from our daily communication. We must have that same familiarity with the voice of our Saviour.
This week, find someone who will listen and tell them about Jesus.
(Revelation 13:9) If any man have an ear, let him hear.
(Romans 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.