This week's devotional is from Pastor Art Greco.
THE PROBLEM WITH HEARING AIDS IS NOT THAT THEY DON’T AMPLIFY. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY AMPLIFY EVERYTHING.
In fact, I’ve found that in some settings, I can actually hear the people I want to talk with better when I turn my hearing aids off! Why? Because sometimes the background noise is so severe that if I leave them switched on, I can hear lit3tle other than the superfluous chatter around me.
It really is pretty frustrating to be sitting only a few feet and directly across the table from someone but able to hear people several tables away more clearly than you can your own guest. You can see your friend’s lips moving and are looking straight into his eyes, so you know he must be speaking, but every word he offers is engulfed and carried away by a hurricane of verbiage that is completely irrelevant to you.
The problem with hearing aids is not that they don’t amplify. The problem is that they amplify everything – even things you don’t need or care to listen to. When that happens, you’ll do just about anything to improve your ability to hear.
Sunday’s message addressed this on a different level, the point being to present some help in hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit – especially since there is often so much other noise around us most of the time. Those helps included things like, (1) actually doing what you’re sure you DO hear God saying; (2) being a serious student of the Bible; (3) not involving yourself in habits that tend to make him more difficult to hear; (4) starting with your ability to reason; and (5) praying, and asking God to make his will known to you. But this was certainly not an exhaustive list. Many of you could add equally helpful and biblical practices.
Here’s a pretty important one I’d add to what was already presented on Sunday:
If you want to increase your ability to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, PRACTICE HEALTHY SUBMISSION every time you get the chance. In other words, be the kind of person who is well-rehearsed and therefore naturally inclined to yield and follow whenever God speaks. It’s not a natural ability, but a yielded heart – one that knows how to surrender its will to the will of God, will be more able to cut through life’s frenetic prattle and actually hear what the Lord is saying.
Consider this from the perspective of the following texts:
- Proverbs 3:5-8
- Acts 13:1-2 (note their posture when they “heard”)
- John 8:47
- Psalm 51:16-17
- Isaiah 57:14-15
- Take a moment now to stop and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to deposit in you some of the characteristics you noted in the verses you read from the list above.
BE A BLESSING
God is constantly wooing us and whispering in his still, small voice. Often, those messages have to do with his desire to use us to care for people who have been praying to him and asking him for help or encouragement. What if you are God’s choice to be the answer to someone’s prayer this week? And now a second question: Are you surrendered to that possibility even before you sense God’s leading regarding it? Consider putting yourself in a position to hear by placing your heart in a position of submission ... even BEFORE you hear anything.
“Lord, here am I. Send me.”