For some, age brings a need for hearing aids, but regardless of age, we all need good hearing in the spiritual realm. Jesus designates two aids to good spiritual hearing.
First, Jesus warned us to take heed what we hear (Mark 4:24). He offered this caution after giving the parable of the sower (or perhaps more accurately, the soils). He described good soil as “such as hear the word, and receive it.” God’s word is the what that we need to hear.
There are many voices clamoring to be heard through venues in our world system. Entertainment, social media, propaganda disguised as news; these are a few examples among many, but the voice of God through the Word of God is the voice that we must tune in to among all the rest.
What you hear can affect your way of thinking, and your way of thinking reveals your belief system. It reveals what you’ve latched onto based on what you’ve heard. Therefore, it is vital to seek out God’s thinking and let that be the basis for our thinking so that we believe rightly.
Second, Jesus cautioned us to “take heed … how ye hear” (Luke 8:18). In this parallel passage, Jesus switches the term from what to how. In describing the good soil He says, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). The honest and good heart embraces God’s word. It is the heart that trusts to obey taking God at His word. When we hear the word, it must be with a receptive heart, not a skeptical or unbelieving heart. Faith responses allow the seed of the word to sprout and grow, producing manifold fruit.
May we take heed to both what and how we hear. By heeding the admonitions of Jesus, we can experience good hearing.
John Van Gelderen