One of the problems with advancing years is that our faculties may start to become less able. I was recently out with some friends celebrating a forthcoming event, and we were all sitting in a restaurant. As usual the chatter was quite loud, and the background music was quite strident too. I found it hard to hear and understand what the people sitting near me were saying when they were talking, especially when they faced away from me. It was quite embarrassing for me, especially when I answered the wrong question.
In the book of Revelation, John writes to the seven churches with God’s message, which ended in each case with the injunction to listen to the Spirit and understand. How hard it is sometimes to do just that! I was reading the story in Acts 15 of the council held in Jerusalem, and was struck by the conclusion, where James states that the action being proposed was a result of the Holy Spirit instructing the Church. They agreed and said, ‘It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us’ (Acts 15: 28). I wonder how the Jerusalem church worked out what the Holy Spirit was saying. How were the seven churches of Revelation to understand what God was telling them?
One of the amazing things about the Spirit is that He aids us in our listening and discerning. He gives gifts which help us in our hearing and understanding. Unlike so many human beings, who simply raise their voices and think that their hearers will automatically listen and understand, (a common fault of English people in foreign countries), God patiently stands with us as He speaks, and provides the way for us to listen and understand. It’s as if He gives us a divine hearing aid. Of course, if we’re not in tune with the Spirit, we may still miss it. An aurally challenged person needs to also look at the speaker in order to make sense of the words being spoken to them.
So, let’s keep our eyes on the Lord, and be prepared for the Spirit to communicate. Ask God for understanding of what you hear. Then be ready to walk in line with His instructions, however difficult they may seem.
Prayer: Holy Spirit please keep talking to us, even when we struggle to hear what You’re saying. Fill us with Your presence so we have listening ears, and also have understanding hearts and minds. Then help us to walk in agreement with You, we pray. Amen.
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