Daily Devotional

Hearing God

by Simon Whitton

15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-- thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

Mark 4:15-20 (NIV)

There is some concern in Christian circles that we may not be hearing God. That perhaps we are not listening attentively enough, or aren't attuned to the Holy Spirit correctly; but this issue is barely mentioned in the scriptures. Instead, there is the sense all through the Bible that God speaks clearly and effectively communicates to His people.

What is found throughout the Scriptures is not so much: 'you didn't hear my voice', but 'you didn't put it into practice'. It's like when a parent says to their child, "did you hear me" knowing full well that they did hear, the question was directed at their lack of obedience.

In the above parable, God speaks to four different groups of people; and Jesus makes it clear that each one of them "hears" the word. Each one made more and more progress, but only the last matured to bear fruit. The difference between the four groups is not the ability to hear, but the result of the word after it was heard. To change the result we must change our response:

47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.
48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.

Luke 6:47-7:1(NIV)

We don't have to worry about hearing God. He is more than able to communicate. Instead, we should concern ourselves with acting upon what we've heard.

Spend some time praying, and prepare the ground of your heart. Pray for the courage to put His words into practice. That He might speak to you even more challenging and amazing words, as He takes you to a place of greater and greater fruitfulness.

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