“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
This week in Heartbreakingly Beautiful, we discuss some ‘Kingdom secrets’ we learned through Beth’s suffering. They were taught in the context of great suffering and we learned that God’s eternal Kingdom is upside down and inside out compared to the values of this world. How do we live victoriously through the topsy-turvy, stomach-wrenching ride of life that can throw us totally off kilter and seem so completely confusing? To give us some clues, Jesus often spoke in parables to the people gathered around Him. He told stories about everyday things and used common language to express deeper spiritual principles. He often began His parables this way; “The Kingdom of God is like this…”
Jesus was constantly speaking about the Kingdom of God and though He tried to explain it in understandable terms, I often find myself perplexed over what it all means. I find that the more I learn about God’s Kingdom (the spiritual realm we already belong to as believers in Christ) the more I don’t understand! His call for us to open our ears and listen comes clearly.
But how do we hear Jesus today and begin to understand what He is saying? If, like me, you find yourself scratching your head in confusion at the mystery of the Kingdom at times, we are in good company. Jesus’ own disciples didn’t really get it at first either! The concept of the Kingdom of God is so ‘out of this world’ that we need God Himself, through His Spirit, to reveal it to us (I Cor 2:10).
It seems that our spiritual ears are so important and connected with receiving the secret truths we need in life. Within our physical bodies, our ears contain intricate organs that control our balance. In the spiritual realm, listening to the Word of God brings balance to our spirits. Listening to Jesus, The Word of God, brings peace through those upside down times. Listening to Jesus, The Word made flesh, brings clarity through the inside out things that don’t seem to make sense.
Friends, the secrets of the Kingdom are constantly being whispered by the Spirit and we need to ‘tune in’ and BE Hearers of the Word . When we are confused and don’t know one voice from the other, here is an important truth. Before we can hear the Lord speak to us, we need to learn to fear Him… “The secrets of the Lord belong to those who fear Him” (Psalm 25:14).
Just today, as I was contemplating these matters again, I have been reminded in several ways that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep (that’s you and me!). This Good Shepherd is always calling our names and as we learn to listen and discern His voice, we are led into spacious places of abundant life. BE Hearers of the Word and live!
Many before me have recognized that hearing from God is a learned skill. Sometimes He shouts to get our attention, but most practiced listeners will testify to the whisper in the darkness. To BE Hearers of the Word, we need to practise how to be good listeners. We need to take time to quiet down and open our ears to hear the frequency God uses to speak. Primarily the Lord speaks to the ears of our spirits through His Word, the Bible. He can also use the wisdom and testimony of other believers to speak truth into our lives.
I have found that the very words of Jesus Himself brings life to the soul as we hear them. Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie has learned how to listen to the words of Jesus through her suffering. Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow is a powerful book I recommend to anyone who has experienced loss and trauma. The words of Jesus Christ literally pour out of every page and the Lord has used Nancy’s challenge to truly listen to the words of Jesus and really believe them to help heal my broken heart.
Jesus, the eternal Word of God has spoken. His words are living and active and we can tune into His voice and receive them today. I hope that you too will take up this call to truly take Jesus at His Word. Fear Him – listen to Him – believe Him – obey Him! This biblical pattern is the secret to living with balance and victory through the whirlwind we call life here on earth!
Songs to encourage you:
“In my heart in my soul, I give you control, consume me from the inside out Lord. Let justice and praise become my embrace to love you from the inside out.”
From The Inside Out by Joel Houston, Hillsong United
Word of God Speak by MercyMe
Books to build you up:
Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
An inspirational idea:
I encourage you to actually listen to the Word of God. There are many ways this precious Word is available to us today in audio form. I use the audio recordings through Bible Gateway and hearing the Word in my headphones as I walk, drive and do the housework, etc. is transformational!