I am condensing my teachings to make them more readable ☺
Listening Leads to Submission
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Six times in the Gospels and eight times in the Book of Revelation, Jesus repeats these six words. It’s the simplest of statements, but the implication is exponential. The exhortation is urgent, and I believe, your future and mine depend on it.
When Christ declared, “Whoever has ears. Let them hear,” the Jewish ear could well have heard hints of the Psalmist’s words, ”My ears you have opened.”—Psalm 40:6 The Hebrew word for “opened” is archaeological in nature meaning “to excavate” or “dig through dense material.” We do this by listening with our inner ears. But the word for “opened” can also be translated, “to pierce,” which has led many scholars to believe that David was referencing an ancient ritual outlined in Exodus.
“5 But the slave [indentured servant] may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’ 6 If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.” — Exodus 21:5-6 NLT
When we think of doorframes in the Bible, our mind is whisked back to a pivotal moment in Israel’s history. The moment when the Israelites were liberated from forced slavery, and were delivered into freedom where they willingly entered a covenant with their God to follow His commandments. Blood on the doorframe is one of the most iconic images of this transfer from slavery into following a new master in freedom. The blood of the Messiah from his pierced flesh on the cross, the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintels, and the blood of the slave (indentured servant or bondservant) who, for love’s sake, agrees to serve his master willingly.
Crossing over the threshold, through the door, must be voluntary. And Jesus Christ presents us with that opportunity. He IS that portal – He IS the door to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is no accident, or mere matter of convenience, that the servant is brought to a door for this ritual.
After serving a six-year term, an indentured servant was set free in the seventh year. (If you wish to read my article about indentured servanthood in the scripture as it relates to American Slavery please see my article, Does the Bible Condone American Slavery? Emphatically NO! from April 15, 2020.
A Day I Heard God’s Voice
February 17, 1965, I lay in the top bunk of a triple storied bunk, in the dormitory Sackett D on the Oregon State Campus. I was all alone in the huge complex as I went through Rush a week before school started. That night I heard Christ’s still quiet question—
“DALE, WILL YOU GIVE ME YOUR WHOLE LIFE?”
I SAID, “YES LORD, I AM YOURS!’”
Friends, with a hesitant pit in my stomach and gulp in my throat I surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and I purposed to follow Him wherever He led me.
Since that ear-piercing night I have never looked back. The next years in college were transformative as I cemented my faith (trust in Him) and in the Faith (the whole doctrine of Christianity). I experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in me. I never anticipated that I would face hostility from my professors of philosophy, history, and religion. I was so naive about how radical the sixties campus culture truly was regarding almost everything I was discovering about Christ, and the Bible.
I survived and thrived because of my close associations with Christians from Campus Crusade for Christ, and from my sister, Elaine Fowler, whom I love with the deepest affection!
I did not know it at the time, but I was living out Christ’s words to John the Baptist. I learned quickly if I was to survive my faith, I would need to withstand the gale force winds of opposition. I did not look for a fight, but the fight came to me in secular opposition.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been treated violently, and violent [strong and forceful] men take it by force.”— Matthew 11:12 NASB
Listening Leads to Obedience
The Latin word for obey is obedire, which means “give ear.” (Look to Online Etymology Dictionary,“obey”
Obedience starts with a pierced ear. It’s tuning into God’s frequency and turning up the volume. It is obeying His whispers, even if a thousand people are screaming something different!
“Tell me to what you pay attention” said Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, “and I will tell you who are you.” (Man, and Crisis,94)
You will eventually be shaped by the loudest voice in your life—
the voice you listen to the most!
A few questions for you:
1. Have you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life?
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NIV
2. Has your spiritual ear been pierced?
“He shall take him to the door of the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl.” Exodus 21:6 NIV
3. Is your inner ear consecrated to Christ?
“My sheep hear my voice, and know me, and they follow me” John 10:27
4. Is His still small voice the loudest voice in your life?
“Today if you hear His voice…” Hebrews 4:7
5. When was the last time you heard the voice of the Holy Spirit?
“For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice” Psalm 95:7 NIV
I am convinced that genuine listening is ultimately an act of submission and unselfishness. It’s hard to imagine that one major solution to our problems is listening. But it is!
“Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.”— Proverbs 19:27 NKJV
Listening With Our Inner Ear
One of the mysterious capabilities of the human ear is tuning out certain sounds while tuning in others. Perhaps this is one reason things “go in one ear and out the other!”:)
Our beautiful daughter, Heather, has four boys and a gorgeous daughter. I think Heather has about the quietest voice I have heard from a mother. Heather can be in a crowd with people talking, or downstairs doing the laundry and she can speak in a “still small voice”☺ to her children and they will answer her. I am amazed how “in tune” they are to her voice. I think their inner ears are dialed into her frequency!
How are your ears? Are you dialed into the voice of God?
“Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.”- Proverbs 8:6 NIV
A Few Follow-Ups
- Attempt to record the times when you think you have heard God’s voice. Please remember He usually talks in the ordinary, not the extraordinary.
- Pay attention when you feel that the Holy Spirit speaks through another person. If you have the opportunity and receive some important understanding or motivation to do right, simply tell them—”The Lord used you today to talk to me through you! Thank You!”
- In what ways have you connected “obedience,” (to give ear) with hearing God’s voice?
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”— Revelation 2:29 NIV
Listing With You,