The Importance of Spiritual
Wade E Taylor
"Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" Matt 13:9.
Here, Jesus tells us that there is a hearing that transcends
our natural ability to hear. This speaks of an inner spiritual
hearing which must be developed within us if we are to discern
the voice of the Lord.
The Laodiceans, who represent the church of our day, were
told by the Lord that they were preoccupied with things rather
than seeking after the Lord Himself. "Because thou sayest,
I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,"
As a result of their emphasis on natural things rather than
seeking after a spiritual knowledge of the Lord, they have
become dull of hearing and lost their ability to hear His
voice and follow His directions. Therefore, Jesus is seen
as being outside of this church, knocking upon its door, seeking
after anyone who may be able to hear his voice and respond
to His desire for fellowship.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me" Rev 3:20.
The Lord has turned His attention to seeking out individuals
who will be able to hear His gentle knock upon the door of
this rich and pre-occupied church. Within the church of Laodicea
there were those who had become dissatisfied with material
things and were sincerely seeking after "something"
more. Jesus personally came to this church to seek these out,
"If any man hear my voice."
Within these, the Holy Spirit is carefully perfecting this
quality of spiritual hearing that they might be able to hear
and respond to this knocking by Jesus and come apart to "sup"
Today there is a need as never before, to cultivate a spiritual
hearing that we might be able to respond to the Lord as He
comes to knock, upon the door of a church that is unprecedentedly
rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing. Within
this Laodicean hour, the Lord is seeking out those who desire
to personally know and learn of Him. "Who hath ears to
hear, let him hear."
The fundamental importance of our coming to be able to recognize,
or hear, the voice of the Lord can be seen in His discourse
with His disciples concerning His identity. After two and
one-half years of ministry to them, Jesus said to them, "But
whom say ye that I am?" Matt 16:15. This was one of the
most important questions that He ever asked of them. All of
the future hinged upon their answer.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the
Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him,
Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath
not revealed it unto thee ("You have not identified me
through any natural ability to hear or see"), but my
Father which is in heaven ("You have come to know who
I am through revelation, by hearing the voice of my Father").
And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter ("You have become
a small stone that is made of the same substance as I. I am
the Rock who hears from my Father and then acts upon all that
I hear Him speak"), and upon this rock ("Upon this
quality of spiritual hearing that you now have") I will
build my church ("Not upon natural abilities, but upon
spiritual hearing and obedience"); and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it" ("They cannot stand
against a Word from the Lord") Matt 16:16-18.
It was extremely important that Jesus develop this quality
of hearing within His disciples. Only then would they be able
to carry on the ministry that He had begun. Again and again,
Jesus made the source of His ministry very plain to them.
He said, "I can of mine self do nothing: as I hear, I
judge: and my judgment is just" John 5:30a. Jesus heard
from the Father and acted upon that which He heard. He was
even careful to let His enemies know the source of His ministry.
"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the
Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that I do
nothing of myself; but as the Father hath taught me, I speak
these things" John 8:27.
The source of this "hearing ear" whereby Jesus
was able to hear His Father is shown to us, so we also will
understand how to develop this ability to hear. "The
Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should
know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he
wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear
as the learned" Isaiah 50:4. Thus, there must be within
us a spiritual desire that is strong enough to cause us to
set apart a daily time (morning by morning) of seeking the
Lord Himself in order to cultivate this quality of spiritual
Peter has come into this same experience that Jesus had,
of having a spiritual ear. He has come to the place where
he can hear the will of the Father just as Jesus heard, "He
wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Only now can
Jesus say, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them,
and they follow me" John 10:27. Only now can the Church
be built upon the right foundation, the ability to hear and
do the will of the Father.
Therefore, the ministry of Jesus is finished. "From
that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how
that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of
the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and
be raised again the third day" Matt 16:21.
The outworking of this quality of spiritual hearing, that
Jesus had spent two and one-half years developing within Peter,
began its effective ministry on the day of Pentecost when
Peter spoke, far beyond any natural ability that he might
have had, and three thousand were added to the Church.
All too often in our day, the development of this quality
of spiritual hearing has been set aside while natural means
and methods have been allowed to take its place. We must return
to the supernatural and again seek after learning to know
the voice of the Lord.
He is still waiting for us to exhaust our own ways and turn
to Him. "Behold I (patiently) stand at the door and (gently)
knock, (to see) if any man (will be able to) hear my voice
and open the door, (of their inner spiritual being to me),
I will come in and sup with them, and they with me."
Only then will we find the personal satisfaction we seek.
Only then will we have the results that Peter experienced
on the day of Pentecost.