There is an amazing (as all of the verses in the Bible) verse that talks about one of the most important elements of our wondrous mysterious walk with the Lord, hearing. There are 516 verses in the Scriptures that talks about our critical need to hear from the Lord for direction, correction, our approving or qualifying. But, I do not know about you, I do not hear well at times. Now it is true I do have a significant physical hearing loss from my 24 years (too many loud machine guns, howitzer, etc.) and at times when I get emotional about issues surrounding my family I raise my voice louder and louder due to my hearing loss. Make no mistake my friend the fastest way to get my dander up is to do or say something to Karen, our kids or their spouses, and our grand kids. God has placed Karen and I in a leadership role of oversight and protection (we take this calling serious) all the days of our lives. If you really study the Scriptures you will discover there is no ending to you being a parent. In God we wear this hat all the days of our lives and hopefully we have instilled Godly spiritual principles into our kids and they in turn will do the same in their kids. We often read, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) and think our responsibility of training our children is over, but that is not what this verse is saying. Why will the child not depart from the way he is to go? Because they have been trained correctly by their parents and their parents are still training them when they get old. This is a central part of the Jewish and Biblical culture, parents training their kids all of their lives. Sadly the American culture says, when you are 18 (you pick an age) you are on your own, sink or swim. What does an 18 year old really know about life? This is why today many Christian 18 year olds sink into the abyss of the darkness of this world and get off track, some forever. Enough I am getting off target in the butts.

Now I am not talking about physical hearing (there is so of this moving) but I am talking about the spiritual hearing of God’s words to us in our heart. In Romans Paul asks a bunch of good questions that we must continually ask ourselves today if not then we too will miss the mark to the whole point and the fundamental concepts and precepts of the Gospel message. Many people have laid their lives down for these concepts and spiritual principles. Jesus the chief cornerstone that the builder rejected laid His life down so that many sons and daughters could be won to the faith. Funny how the answers never change, but the importance of the questions is not the answers it is the asking. Paul asks the Church in Rome, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias (a famous Hebrew prophet who prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah) saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:13-17) The heart of Paul’s words in these verses is towards people coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. How can they call on Him (Jesus) in whom they do not believe? And how can they believe in Him (Jesus) if they have never heard/ Heard what? And how can they hear without someone telling them. Telling them what? And how can someone tell them unless someone goes, “as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” What a nice verse to make a song out of. But please notice the next verse, “16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Who are the “they” the people or the preachers? Well the next verse gives us the answer, “17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Paul here is not talking about the people, he is talking about the preachers who have not heard from God to have something of great importance to say. To understand this verse better one should read it from the Greek translation, “So then faith cometh by hearing, a word of God.” (Romans 10:17 (Greek)) As we hear God speak to us our faith to believe whatsoever He says will be birthed in us. It is not the hearing of the word of God, the Bible preached to us or played on CD or tape, but the hearing of God’s words directly spoken to our heart which contains all of the faith and whatever is needed to do that which God has spoken to do. All of the longsuffering, joy peace, endurance, etal is contained in the spoken word to us. Faith (or whatever you need from God today) comes by hearing. I wonder where Paul learned that?

It is much easier to go in our strength than in the strength of God. I know for sure about this I have done it before. Our strength makes us strong in our abilities and talents, but going in God’s strength will make us weak in our abilities and talents leaving us dead, but that is when God is at His best in us, when we are dead to our selves. Paul knew a thing or two about being weak. As matter of fact the hallmark of Paul’s travels and writing to the churches was predicated on the need to hear from God because of the continued need of strength. I wonder where Paul learned this secret? He did not learn it from Jesus like the other disciples Paul never walked with Jesus when He was on the earth. Paul learned this secret while in weakness and then when he was strengthened by God to overcome the situation or circumstance he would find himself in. If God left us in our weakness even less people would serve Him, but God leaves us in our weakness (situation and circumstances) until we have learned the lesson He desires to teach us and then and only then He can raise us up to sit in heavenly places with Him. I wonder why today we do not pray for weakness? Again Paul knows weakness, “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) Paul also knew that all ministers in churches are not led by the Lord and have not been called to the ministry. Here the criteria to be a minister of the Gospel was to endure beatings, hardships, separation, sent to prison, nakedness, perils: “in waters, of robbers, by mine own countrymen, by the heathen, in the city, in the wilderness, in the sea, and the worse of all perils among false brethren.” Paul also knew before he could go and teach he must be able to hear from God, hear His words to us, so we will have something to say. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 19But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (Romans 10:18-21) You see here in verse 18 the Holy Spirit is taking about the preachers and teachers, not the people. Just like today “their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” Moses went first then Esaias went next and said, “I was found of them that sought me not.” And because the people had no heart to hear from God, just like today, “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” My friend either we will have a heart for the things of God in our lives or we will have a heart for all of the distractions of this world that drowns out the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Either we allow God to develop our inward hearing ears, through His dealings (our weaknesses and infirmities) and judgments in our lives, or we will mature our carnal earthly focused outward man through all of the sensory and emotional pleasures of the world. Is it one or the other, both cannot be developed. I am amazed today when I talk with people and hear their lack of understanding to how we all are eternal beings. We all shall live forever, if we are alive in this earth then we will be alive for all eternity, yet this concept of being an eternal being has been lost in the pleasures of today and through the secular school teachings of man as an organism and dying, well this too is true, but we were made in the image (icon) of God for the earth and we will live with God forever on the earth. Read the Bible. I am not sure why everyone thinks we are going to live with God in heaven forever. This is why we must learn our lessons well so that we will be able to function with God correctly in the next age to come. Never forget God’s grand goal in our lives is not to make us rich, popular, happy, or beautiful, but to conform us into His image and character, especially His character and if He cannot do that in our lives then we will not spend our eternal life with God we will be cast into outer darkness.

Now it is critical to know hearing in God is a two way street, the evangelist, preacher, or teacher MUST hear from God so they will have something of spiritual significance to speak, something that will enable the transforming power of Jesus Christ, with the obedience of the individual, to operate in the lives of the people and the people MUST be able to hear from God individually, they must have the ability in God to hear Him speak. Now I have never heard (and probably will never) God speak to me with an audible voice there is no need He can speak to my inward spirit. Most Christians want to see the miracles and hear God speak from heaven like He did with His Son when He was baptized, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” well that all is nice, but if we have allowed God to work in our lives we will not be going after the miracle show His speaking to us will be enough. It is easy to see who can hear from God; those who quietly go abut their business doing what God has asked them to do. Those who cannot hear from God; try to pray fire down from heaven, gather crowds to gain earthly support, and work with all their might and strength to manipulate and yoke as many deceived Christians as they can. The show is the goal instead of the work of God.

I think one of the biggest reasons why many evangelists, preachers, or teachers never hear from the Lord is because they are preaching another Gospel. Hearing from God is too painful so they will preach or teach something other than the Gospel (the death burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) message. Man always takes the path of least resistance even in God. They speak of themselves, half truths which are also called lies, they glory in denominations and religions, they go after personal gain of wealth and popularity all the while deceiving and leading good-hearted people out of the way God would have for them. Paul confronted these evangelists, preachers, or teachers also and has (even today) a word from the Lord for them, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9) Correct hearing does matter my friend.