Hearing. All those noises we take in. Some subtle, some loud. Some we know we shouldn’t listen to, others sneak past us. Did you ever notice that what you listen to often becomes what you meditate on…what you believe? It sets a mood. Changes our very spirit.
Think about it. We can even start with an easy one: music. Music can soothe the savage beast or set us in a crazy mood. There is a time for my hymns—and it’s not when I’m attempting to jog. Nope. Give me hard rock, something like Skillet or Plumb. But when I’ve got my kids screaming and dog barking at the end of a long day? Please give me instrumental praise music.
See? What we listen to can set our moods.
So what do you think happens to your anxiety level when you turn on the evening news? Now I’m not saying you can never listen to the news again…but starting and ending your day there rather then in God’s Word can start to affect your mood. You begin to wonder who’s in control of your fate, forgetting that it is and always will be God. He’s bigger than any debt our country can accumulate. He’s higher than any gas price we may pay. He’s got all the answers to the endless questions newscasters leave open for you to worry over. Listen to His voice, not theirs. And His voice clearly says “do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.” Matthew 6:34 (If you struggle with worry, crack open the Bible and start at verse 25—it’s a great passage.)
And what about the voice that carries gossip? Oh I know we try to keep our tongues from spreading gossip, but our ears are just as powerful here. With no one to listen to it, gossip dies. And it
doesn't matter how pretty the wrapping is on the gossip (eh-hmmm…I’ve got this prayer request…) if it’s not information you should have, you should not be receiving it. But too often our need to know gets us sucked into places we should not be. God’s quite clear about this voice… “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 20:19.
As long as I’m talking about voices…what about when you listen to people who put you down rather than build you up? We all know words can hurt. But they don’t make you who you are. Only God can do that. Listen to Psalm 139: 13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it well.” His works are wonderful—and you are one of them. He didn’t create you by accident, He wove each unique part of you together. You are wonderful. You are chosen. You are loved. If you hear nothing else, hear that.
One last thing. We need to train our ears to know His voice. Sometimes counterfeit voices try to take the place of His. In fact, satan is so intent on being God that he forever tries to imitate Him…and he’s gotten good at it. But if we draw near to God, learn the texture of His voice, the cadence of His lilt, the very essence of His sound, we will not be fooled. Listen to these verses from the parable of the good shepherd found in John 10. “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to know Him so intimately that even with the softest whisper, I'm certain it’s Him. To hear His voice above all others and meditate on His Word. To follow where He calls.
What about you? What will you do this week to clean out those ears and tune into Him?