Friday, October 1, 2021

 Listen And Learn

“A wise man will hear, and will increase  learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” Proverbs 1:5

Scripture speaks to us about the need to listen more and speak less. Listening is the only way to gain understanding and wisdom. In particular, the Bible is speaking about listening to God’s Word as He speaks to us.

This principle applies in all aspects of our lives. In school, those that were willing to listen more gained more understanding. In marriage, those that are willing to listen more will gain more understanding of their spouse. In business, those that are willing to listen will gain more understanding.

This is not an easy task for most of us, because we tend to prefer to talk, especially if we think we know something about the subject being discussed. However, we tend to lose out on the wisdom and understanding that can be gained by listening to others.

Spiritually, it is even more important that we be willing to listen and gain understanding. Not just listen to some person, even though God does give us teachers and Pastors to teach us His Word, but listen to God’s Word. Measure everything we hear from others against what we read in the Bible.

We need to have an ear to hear the Holy Spirit. He is the one God has provided to teach us as we study our Bible. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:13-14.

These verses give us some understanding of how we know when we are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. He will glorify Jesus. When we hear someone preaching something that does not glorify Jesus, then we need to move away from that. We really do need to have a desire to hear the Holy Spirit. If we are studying the Bible just for some knowledge, we are missing the point. We are not just learning for the sake of learning, we are learning about our beloved Lord.

Each one of us must hear God’s Word personally. This involves getting into the Bible and studying to know what it says. As I notice the great amount of “teaching” out on the internet, in social media, on Youtube and other places, it is clear that there is so much error being taught, that we simply cannot approach that without knowing what the Bible says already. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. The Greek word translated study here speaks of a diligence to know the Word of Truth. The approval that matters is God, not ourself or others.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19. Today everyone gets to speak their opinion because of social media. There is a lot of speaking, and very little listening. James reminds us that we should listen much more than we speak. 

On social media, people can say anything they want about anything, whether or not it is true, and there will be some that will give them positive feedback which will increase the nonsense. The way to know error is not to study error, it is to know truth and compare everything to that.

When working with audio, we use filters. A filter can be used to cut out certain frequencies or to allow only certain frequencies to pass. Filters can be used to make audio clearer and more understandable.

Christians need a filter every time they approach the world. Everything we take in from the world should be understood through the filter of God’s Word. It allows us to understand clearly what we are hearing or seeing.

It is extremely important that we approach our study of God’s Word without preconceived notions that we have created for ourselves or heard from others. It is the way of human nature to want to make the Bible agree with us, when it must be the other way. We must be willing to agree with the Bible and be willing to hear what God wants to speak to our life when we study.

The more I study, the more I am realizing that God has something He wants to speak to each of us. God has always desired to have close communion with each one of us, and He is doing that through His Word. Our interest in studying God’s Word is in direct proportion to our desire to know our Lord better.

We say we want to be in the bride of Jesus, but the truth is that His bride will know Him intimately, and that will necessitate real, earnest, study while listening to the Holy Spirit teach us. “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellers.” Psalms 119:24. “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” Psalms 119:162.

Is God’s Word your delight? Are you listening? Are you learning? I’m absolutely convinced the time is short for us, and we must be diligent in our relationship with our Lord. 

Gordon Crook