Hear Or Not To Hear
By Dale Spangler
"Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matt 13:9.
The hearing of words is part of the process of conveying
information from one person to another. Generally, hearing
prompts a reaction to what is being received. With light or
trivial conversation, a smile or laughter may result. When
a warning is received, more intense action results. Consider
this in the Word of God.
"Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into
him and will sup with him and he with me." Rev 3:20.
When the Lord knocks, He expects a response from the hearer.
However, the response may not be the one He desires. The resident
of the house has the option of either opening, or remaining
behind a closed door.
This verse is within the letter to the church of Laodicia.
Why then is He outside, knocking?
The disciples who walked with Jesus had a problem with their
hearing. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, His disciples were
waiting for Him to overthrow the Roman government and restore
the land to Jewish control (Acts 1:6).
Although they heard His teaching about the Kingdom of God,
they were without understanding. There was little or no response,
because they had a preconceived notion of His mission. The
information their ears collected did not fit the past information
they had heard and stored.
This happens many times in our lives. We also have preconceived
opinions that block the better things the Lord has for us.
For example, when asked if the Bible is the written Word of
God, and if the Lord is the same today as he was yesterday,
and will be tomorrow, most Christians will answer with a resounding
"yes," while at the same time they believe that
most of the gifts of the Spirit do not operate today.
Because of this, there is little present moving of the Spirit,
and the gift ministries are hindered in fulfilling their purpose.
In the parable of the sower, the Word of the Kingdom is sown
by way of speech (Luke 8:10-15). The Word is heard by the
ear and is sent to either the brain, or to the heart. If the
heart, which denotes the center of our spiritual being, is
receptive, the seed is received and begins to develop (Luke
8:15). Therefore, the verses that follow do not deal with
the seed, but address the condition of the soil.
The wayside is a regularly traveled path upon which the soil
is so packed that the seed cannot take root. We easily become
busy with so many things that there is little or no room for
the "Word of the Lord" to take root within us. Much
traffic makes the heart hard and unreceptive to the seed of
In Israel, many fields have large flat limestone deposits
within inches of the soil surface. In these rocky spots, the
soil loses its moisture rapidly. Thus the seed sprouts, begins
to grow, and dies very quickly (Luke 8:13).
The seed is received with joy, then temptation comes. The
decision to yield to the temptation, or to follow the Lord,
will determine whether the crop will die or continue to grow.
Remember, the soil condition was there before the seed was
sown, the choice is ours to make. We are called to obey, and
to follow Him.
Just as a garden needs proper care, our heart condition requires
constant attention, or the briars will take control and the
crop (the will of God for us) will suffer loss.
An honest heart is one that acknowledges the paths, rocks,
and thorns (hindrances to our fulfilling the will of God).
If problems with the soil are recognized and acknowledged,
they can then be corrected. We often forget how painful rock
removal can be. Thorns must be removed, root and all. The
more pollutants that are removed, the more abundant the crop.
If we are to walk with Him, we must both hear and obey; there
is no other way.
"To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your
hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of
temptation in the wilderness." Heb 3:7b-8.
He is knocking. Are we hearing and responding?