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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Importance of Hearing by Alan Martin

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 The Importance of Hearing by Alan Martin



Jesus gave us the key to receiving the abundance of grace that His Father and ours has made fully available to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “He who has ears to hear – LET HIM HEAR!” Hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual discipline we must carefully undertake. The only way the Holy Spirit can guide us into all truth is by leading us through what He says to us. He does not force us into all truth, but He guides us into all truth by speaking the truth to us. If we do not learn to hear Him, we will miss out on much of what God desires for us.

Jesus said of the Holy Spirit that “When He the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will TELL you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and DECLARE it to you.” John 16:13-1 Jesus spoke to the seven churches of Asia and at the end of every instruction He gave to them through the vision John had were these words, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is SAYING to the churches.” God leads us into paths of righteousness by speaking to us through the Holy Spirit. This is why Abraham was declared righteous; God spoke to him, he heard, believed and obeyed what he heard.

The righteous shall live by Faith, and “FAITH COMETH BY HEARING”. A more literal translation of this verse in Romans 10:17 is “faith cometh by the thing heard”. When the Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus Christ to us, this gives us the opportunity to receive His words. We can choose to ignore His words and fail to hear, or we can choose to receive His words and believe what we have heard. This hearing and believing is what it takes to do the works of God. When the Jews asked Jesus, “what must we do in order to do the works of God”, Jesus gave them the clear answer – “the work of God is to believe in Him whom He sent.” This is how we do the works God has appointed for us. Jesus speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and as we believe what He says to us and obey what we are told, the work of God is done.

How critical is it that we learn to hear the Holy Spirit? Consider how Jesus summed up the meaning of the parable of the sower: “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. IF ANYONE HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR. Then He said, TAKE HEED WHAT (or HOW) YOU HEAR, With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and TO YOU WHO HEAR, MORE WILL BE GIVEN. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mark 4:21-25

Hearing and receiving even more works just like it does when learning a foreign language. When we are first beginning to learn, we can receive very little from another person who is trying to speak with us. The more vocabulary we learn, the more we are able to understand what is being said to us. Our ability to get all the details increases as we begin to grasp more and more of what is being said. The more of the language we know, the more we are enabled to receive. This is the same with the hearing of faith. The more we begin to hear of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, the more we begin to receive all the fullness of the Lord Jesus that the Holy Spirit wants to DECLARE UNTO US.

The opposite of hearing well is hearing poorly, and if we are hearing poorly, this will limit our ability to receive the fullness of Jesus that the Holy Spirit longs to declare unto us. This is the problem the writer of Hebrews was addressing in chapter 5, verse 11-14 “Of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since YOU HAVE BECOME DULL OF HEARING. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” When a believer is “hearing poorly”, his dullness of hearing limits his or her ability to receive the fullness of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit want to DECLARE .

So the question we need an answer to is “How do we learn to be good hearers?” We must first realize that our natural mind can not hear the Holy Spirit, the things the Holy Spirit declares are spiritual truths declared to spiritual men. We must learn to walk IN THE HOLY SPIRIT by hearing with spiritual ears. How do we learn to walk and keep in step with the Holy Spirit? We must begin by “establishing a connection” with the Holy Spirit. Paul explained the importance of this to those in Rome. “Those who walk according to the Spirit, SET THEIR MINDS on the Spirit; those who walk according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh.” The mind of the flesh does not receive the things of the Spirit but is hostile to God and will not submit. We must set our minds upon the Spirit. Those of us who use GPS to navigate know that when we first turn on the GPS it has to “establish a connection” with the satellite; the unit must LINK UP, with what is above.

Those who desire to walk according to the Holy Spirit must LINK UP with things above by “SETTING OUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE AND NOT ON EARTHLY THINGS.” Those who set their minds on things of the earth end up living as an enemy of the cross. The cross is the means by which the old man of flesh is crucified with Christ so that the new inner man of the spirit can become one spirit with Jesus who has become the life giving Spirit of God. We either walk by one of two ways; we walk according to the desires of the flesh or we walk according to the desires of the Holy Spirit. We choose day by day, moment by moment which LINK we are making, whether the flesh or the Holy Spirit The carnal man, may be an infant in Christ Jesus, but he will forever remain stunted and unable to grow into a mature spiritual man until he fully cooperates with the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds of the body, and mortifying his members which are upon the earth. Paul called this “putting off the old man which is being corrupted by deceitful lusts.” Carnal believers are those who have yet to put off the old man, and thus their minds are more linked to the earth and the old man with its deceitful lusts. Spiritual men are mature believers who have cooperated with the Holy Spirit in setting their mind on things above, and putting to death their members upon the earth and putting off the old man. They are being transformed through the renewing of their mind as they learn to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. They stop fulfilling the lust of the flesh and stop making provision for the flesh as they choose to follow what the Holy Spirit is declaring to them.

Moment by moment as we walk throughout each day, the Holy Spirit is seeking to guide us into all truth. Every time we are tempted, the Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus Christ to us so that we can take the way of escape and bear up under the temptation. Spiritual believers are those who have learned to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying, and through the faith that comes from what the Spirit is declaring, they overcome the temptation, and the evil one by faith. We overcome sin by choosing to hear what the Holy Spirit is declaring, and not listening to our own natural mind and following our own desires. This is the victory of faith, the faith the comes through hearing what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Learning to be led by the Spirit and keeping in step moment by moment, is what causes us to begin to receive more and more of the fullness of Christ that the Holy Spirit is sent to declare unto us. This is why Paul describes the “sons” (mature ones) of God as those who are “led by the Holy Spirit.” Those who have exercised their senses to learn to hear the Holy Spirit very carefully receive more and more of all God has already given to us in Christ Jesus. Those who are poor hearers, limit their own ability to receive more, because they have not yet learned to listen very carefully. Many of them think they already have and do not even realize how much they are missing out on. Those who hear carefully begin to receive more and more until they have an abundance of the grace of God.

We call what determines how much power can be transferred from one point to another “capacity”. Our spiritual capacity to receive the fullness of Christ is limited by being poor hearers. It does not matter how much voltage is available to run the powerful machine we have purchased if we have only a little wire to connect the power supply to the machine. Attempting to transfer a large amount of power through a little cord creates great problems. The small cord does not have the capacity to transfer all the power that is available. The more power needing to be transferred from one point to another, the larger the wire is necessary so that it will have adequate capacity for the power to flow through it. The reason so few of us are filled with the Holy Spirit is we have not fully developed the spiritual capacity to receive all that the Holy Spirit wants to declare to us. When we are poor hearers, it is hard for the Holy Spirit to declare to us all that He longs to show us. God has already given us every grace in Christ Jesus, but the way He has designed that the fullness of that grace is to become ours is the ministry of the Holy Spirit taking those things and declaring them unto us. Until we learn to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying, we will have a limited capacity to receive and will continue to remain spiritually immature and weak.

God did not send the light of the world to hide anything from us, light is intended to make everything manifest. Nothing that God has hidden in Christ Jesus was meant to stay hidden, except to the world – not to His children whom He loves. If the things God has given us in Christ Jesus are hidden to us, it is our own fault. We need to examine how we are hearing. Do we have a hearing problem? Maybe we have “lost connection” and do not even realize it. In order to walk according to the Spirit, we must set our minds upon the Holy Spirit. Through setting our minds on things above, the wisdom from above will begin to flow into us guiding us into all truth and bringing every grace of Jesus Christ so that we can know it and live in it.

He who has ears to hear - CHOOSE TO HEAR!


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