(Re-posting one of my favorites from 7/22/10)
There are five senses that we depend on to be effectively alive in this world!
Taste, Hear, See, Smell – these senses are located in your head.
Feel – this is the one sense that impacts the head but we often think of it as coming from our fingers.
The senses of the head are all so specialized and cause us to act or re-act to the input we receive.
- When we taste a substance, we either hunger for more or flee the table.
- When we hear, we tune in or tune out.
- When we see danger, we either flee or fight.
- When we smell, we are either drawn or repulsed.
- When we feel, we move closer or further away.
Our senses control everything about our life.
How we respond, how we act, where we go, what we search for, what our desires are – we can either sharpen our senses to grow into a marvelous individual, or we can let our senses become sloppy and our end result seldom pleases anyone. A thinking person cannot think without having had input into the brain. A loving person cannot love without having the sense of what one chooses to love. A rational person cannot maintain control if there is nothing to give one balance on the ranges of emotion.
Your sum total of being is a result of what your senses give you, how you internally process it, and what you do with it to form your outward persona. All our sensory input creates us into the person that we eventually present ourselves to be. Sensory overload creates a stressed life. Focusing on satisfying a single stimulus from a single sense makes us unstable. Example, constant visual stimulation of things that entertain us gives us an outward person that struggles with reality.
Now here’s the rub. What we hear directly affects the brain.
Scripture continually points us to what we put into our heart (brain) comes more from what we hear and from what we see. During a time when many could not read, much less have a book to hold onto, much instruction came by hearing the Word of God, or listening to instructions being provided.
Listening skills are missing in this modern world. Constant noise is being filtered by our brain. We follow the sounds that appeal to us, and tune out the sounds that are discordant. I was visiting with our pest control guy today and he commented it was so easy to talk to me as I was a good listener. Such a beautiful compliment! Oh, that God could say that about us. Oft times we are formulating a response while listening to someone talk. Yet God speaks and there’s really nothing we can say in response – so we should develop some really keen listening skills.
Let me share a couple of “hearing” things a child of God should focus on.
Acts 28:27 – For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
The older I get the more my hearing is becoming history. When listening to some of you I have to give complete focus to your speech, perhaps even paying attention to the shape of words you are making with your mouth. I cannot make my hearing better, but I can change the circumstances around which I listen. For example, background noise can drown out your spoken word – in order to hear you better I must remove the background noise so I can hear more clearly.
When you are trying to determine your path in life, you have to completely focus!
When a message is being preached, too many times you allow your attention to be sidetracked by the things you have surrounding you. I’ve watched people clip their nails, respond to emails or texts, play with their children, whisper to one another, or just sleep. You cannot hear sharply what is being shared from God’s word when you have your attention divided. Jesus said in Mark 3:24-27, “…And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”
Divided attention produces unstable results! Why do you think they have passed laws to prevent you from talking or texting on your cell phones?
Sharpening your hearing means you must pull out all the stops of distractions and put all your energy into hearing what God would say to you and the church. John writes in the early chapters of Revelations, “…He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches…” In order to hear we must focus our ears upon the spiritual voice of God.
When we pray, we do it in such a way that we vocalize to God, hoping that He hears. Have you ever listened to the words you are saying? Most of the times we just say words with no concept of the power these words have. There is power to your words – power that brings solutions!
Jesus answers His disciples desire to learn how to pray by giving them a formula. We seldom follow the formula and just pour out our self-pitying cries of despair. Listen to how you pray and tell me that you’re doing what Jesus says!
When God speaks to us we know that He answers. When He speaks to us, we should be focused on hearing what He says. 1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” He will answer according to His will, but we have to speak our prayers properly and not incorrectly. James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Prayer is a two-way conversation! Speak. Hush and listen.
At the mountain where the transfiguration occurred, God speaks to the three disciples regarding the spoken words of Jesus, (Matt 17:5) “…hear ye him…” This phrase comes from Deut 18:15, where God says another prophet would be raised up (mountain top) and all should listen to him. Luke writes in several places in Acts to confirm the results of this prophecy (Acts 3:22-23, Acts 7:37).
We are commanded to listen.
This world is full of discordant sounds, voices that command our attention, words that cause us to listen… Oh what do we spend time listening to?
Yet Satan has a voice and it is often difficult to know whose voice we are hearing. Jesus says His Sheep will know His voice (John 10:27) and as the verse goes on to explain, “…I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish…”
Who do you want to listen to? False hope? Or the Truth? Or the one that can give you Eternal Life?
Never tired of hearing…
In the last days, Amos writes that God would send a famine into the land. Not a famine of food, but of hearing the word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11) How can anyone grow tired of hearing the Word of the Lord? For in these Words we have access to understanding the will and plan of God for this world. In them we learn of the majesty and beauty of God. In them we learn how much He loves us!
King David says he wants to inquire in the temple and behold the beauty of the Lord (Ps 27:4). You never tire of approaching that which YOU deem beautiful!
Finally, Paul came to the city and people of Corinth in a very plain fashion. Read his words in
1 Corinthians 2:1-16(KJV) to get the full gist of what our hearing needs to be like.