If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mk 4:23 NKJV)
He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Mt 11:15 NKJV)
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev 2:29 NKJV)
The Scriptures talk about people having “ears to hear” quite a bit. What can that mean to us as believers?
Do you know that God is always speaking to His people? And our relationship with our Savior is based, as any true relationship is, upon communication!
To quote Kris Vallotton (Bethel Church, Redding, CA), “Communication is probably the single greatest vehicle of any relationship.” Prayer is part of our communication with God and listening for His voice is the other part of that two-way communication. It is our responsibility to do the listening! Pay attention because the Lord’s voice will often be quiet and unobtrusive. And He may speak to you in ways that you don’t recognize.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kgs 19:11-12 NKJV, emphasis added)
The wonderful thing about God is that He may use various ways to communicate with us. He uses the Scriptures to communicate clearly with us, but he may also use any of these other methods as well.
- Visions: The Lord may give us visions which are simply images and concepts that play upon the screen of our imagination within our minds. Visions frequently require interpretation. So, when the Holy Spirit uses this method to communicate, we need to ask Him to clarify the meaning of the vision. (See Acts 2:17-18)
- The still, small voice of the Lord: This can be perceived as a transient thought, an abrupt but strong impression, or an inner perception of a message from the Lord. (See 1 Kgs 19:11-13)
- Creation: The very creation that God made speaks to us of His power, strength, creativity, provision, and beauty. Pay attention to any message that the Lord may give you through His creation. For me, when I was a brand-new believer, I was asking the Lord to show me His love. I was out with my fiancé driving on a country road. I kept looking at the beautiful sky above me that was just full of large, puffy, billowy clouds as far as the eye could see in EVERY direction. As I was observing those clouds, a church song came into my heart in which the chorus includes the phrase: Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love! (Song Wonderful Peace, lyrics by Warren D. Cornell, music by W. George Cooper – 1889)
The Lord used nature to communicate His great love for me with the image of fathomless billows of love that were demonstrated to me by the huge, billowing clouds before my own eyes—as far as the eye could see in every direction. To this day, 50 years later, I have never forgotten that message from the Lord that was just for me. I cherish it.
- Circumstances: God is able to speak to us and to direct us through the circumstances of our lives. He can open doors of opportunity, or close them, as a way of directing us. However, we can easily misread a blockage that has been erected by the enemy and think that it is God directing us. But we would be wrong. Consequently, we should always seek wise counsel from our Pastor and from other mature believers whom we know very well, and who know us. Also, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us about every step we need to take in our lives.
So, look back upon your life and recall the times when God used any of these various methods to speak to you or to direct you. Or, you may have a new example of how God communicated something to you. But the important thing to recognize is that there is communication flowing in your relationship with the Lord. Thank and praise the Lord for it! When you can receive such communication from God and ACT UPON IT, then you can be assured that you DO have ‘hearing ears’! God bless you.