Spiritual Hearing

Read:

". . . they received the word with great eagerness, . . ." Acts 17:11

Reflect:

Are you a good listener? There are only two classes of spiritual hearing. One is hostile hearing. The Jews of Thessalonica were hostile hearers, which is refusing to consider the truth of what's being said. Hostility involves fixing one’s attention on what most offends their sensibilities of the message to the point of becoming recklessly angry and ultimately resorting to violence in order to suppress the gospel. Hostile hearing comes from a calloused heart.

The second way of hearing is humble hearing. The Bereans serve as an example of humble hearing. Humble hearers are prepared to learn, they are open to the new and amazing insights of God’s word. They have a readiness to patiently listen, to examine God’s word as it is exposed and explained. 

Hearing habits are revealed in the way we read God’s word. We don't read scripture in order to find out how to get God into our lives. No. We open the book to find that page after page we are taken off guard, surprised and drawn into its reality, pulled into participation with God on His terms.

We must guard against having an affair with our limited way of reading and hearing the text. For example, Lutherans find it difficult to go beyond what Luther saw. The Calvinists hold fast to what Calvin last said.  Whatever our propositional grids may be, we miss the rest of the beauty and life within the pages of the text. 

We read in a way that refuses to be reduced to just one way of reading, but with the intention of living of text, by listening and responding to the "great cloud of witnesses" telling their stories, singing their songs, preaching their sermons, praying their prayers, asking their questions, and following Jesus. We read in such a way that the Word is made flesh in our lives. 

Respond:

Choose a passage of scripture you are very familiar with and ask God to show you something you've never seen before in those words.