Word of the Week - Hear
The word of the week is hear. It is a pretty common word, but many times it is still misunderstood. Christians often feel they 'hear' well, when in fact they are spiritually hearing impaired.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a range of definitions for the word hear; to have the capacity of perceiving sound, to be aware of sound, to gain knowledge by hearing, to listen to with attention, to gain information and to entertain the idea.
Unfortunately, a lot of times when we say we 'hear' we are using the first and last definitions given by Merriam-Webster. We have the capacity to hear something and maybe are even aware of the sound and then we entertain the idea. This is not the type of hearing Jesus was talking about in Mark chapter 4:24.
How many times have you physically heard a sermon - thought it was pretty good and entertained the idea of applying what you learnt. While many would say they want to apply what they have received, the lack of change afterwards suggests that really all that is happening is the entertaining of the idea.
The Greek translation of hear in the Strong's Concordance is to attend to, consider, understand, perceive and give audience. In these definitions we can see that it is not so much about the sound or what is being heard, but the action of what is being done with what is being heard.
Jesus is warning and encouraging us to be aware of how we are hearing and what we are hearing. He tells us to take heed (beware, weigh up carefully, examine, consider, contemplate, regard) of what we hear. He is not looking for followers that are just aware that a sound is being made, but followers who listen, consider and decipher what it is that they are hearing.
He goes on to say that with what measure we use it will be measured back to us. The New Living Translation puts it this way: " ...The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given..." We need to put more effort into hearing. We can do this by praying for understanding, expecting to hear, meditating on what we hear, considering everything we hear and examining it closely.
What a great promise we are given if we work on our hearing! Jesus promises us that we shall hear more. Because of this promise, it means that even the most hearing impaired Christian can work on their hearing and it can and will increase, but it is not something that will happen without your active participation. Being aware of sound is not enough - you must hear.
Do you want to hear more from God?
Beware of what you listen to
listen for His voice
Consider what you hear
Meditate on what you hear
Examine everything you hear (don't just assume it is from God)