Posts Tagged ‘ears’

father pleads with olders sonThe Father pleaded (’parakaleo’) with the Elder Brother to come in and enjoy the feast with his brother. It was a call to fellowship, it was a call to relationship, it was a call to repentance from his selfish and unloving ways. Much the same way our paraclete (Holy Spirit) comes alongside us each and every day. We can have the same reaction that the Elder Brother had. His reaction is described in Zechariah 7:11: “But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.

cover ears upHard to believe isn’t it, that this Elder Brother refused the Father’s pleadings. Not really. Most people are good at stopping their ears at times. Sometimes we’ll even murmur to cover any sound. This is why Jesus mentioned several times “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

hands-over-earsPaul experienced people covering their ears, but one instance was notable and recorded in Acts 28:

For this reason, therefore, I have asked (parakaleo) to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “ ‘Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” Acts 28:20-29

he_who_has_earsThis was a watershed moment in Paul’s life. He realized that from now on it was a waste of time to preach to the Jews. Their ears were closed up. The Gentiles would listen. So he would concentrate his efforts with them.

The Jews could not consider that God had changed, that the Messiah had indeed come. They were stuck in their traditions, in the past. They held tightly to their LAW.

He that hath ears let him hearJesus said “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Jesus wanted His people to see that God is Living, God is in the Present, God is not in the past.

Jesus is constantly speaking to us, through His Holy Spirit. If we live in the past, we will cover our ears, or simply ignore what He says TODAY. Several times Jesus pointed out what the Jews thought was right according to the Law and traditions, and Scripture records: “BUT I SAY UNTO YOU!”

Here are the “But I say unto you” passages:

  • But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22
  • But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28
  • But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 5:32
  • But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Matthew 5:34
  • But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:39
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44
  • But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. Matthew 11:22
  • But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. Matthew 11:24
  • But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. Matthew 12:6
  • But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36
  • But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Matthew 17:12
  • But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. Matthew 26:29
  • But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him. Mark 9:13
  • But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Luke 6:27
  • But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Luke 10:12

do not listenJesus wants us to realize that He is always speaking, and that we must always be listening. If we believe we already know what we should do, we are being an ELDER BROTHER. We are stopping our ears to what the Holy Spirit is saying TODAY!

As Watchman Nee said: “If I do today what I did a month ago because the Lord leads me to do it TODAY, that is life; but if I do it today simply because he led me to a month ago, that is law. The law can be a week old or centuries old, but the SPEAKING of the Holy Spirit can never be more than 24 hours old”

The Elder Brother lived in the past, and held tightly his conceptions of righteousness and acceptance. But the Father was speaking to him TODAY, and calling him to a FRESH experience of LIFE with the Father and the younger brother.

listen intentlyDo we know the freshness of today’s walk with the Father? Are our ears listening to Him, or are they stopped up?

I am listening, and am ready to go in. I want that fresh daily experience with the Father!

Father: Wake me every morning with the ears of a disciple, willing and wanting to listen and obey!


As a Pastor people expect me to know how to pray. In fact, if there is an occasion to pray, such as blessing the meal, they usually look to me to pray. I have found that public prayer is one of the hardest things for Christians to do.

I Don't Want to Pray Out Loud

Please don't call on me to pray!

You get a group of Christians together and they will chat and talk about everything in the world, but when it comes time to pray, they all usually shut up and look sheepishly at each other. Nothing shuts a bunch of Christians up like a call to prayer. Prayer is a downer, and prayer requests are a double downer.

When the Pastor or group leader asks for prayer requests there are the usual sicknesses, the occasional health crises, and then there are the life and death requests. 98% of prayer requests are to bring God into a situation that is threatening, troubling or trying. In most of the situations darkness has already come into the person’s life.

I would like there to be some way we could delight in God in our prayer times. I want our prayer to be means of encouraging our faith and growing in our intimacy with our ABBA Father. Surely Jesus enjoyed the Hours He spent in prayer with His Father! Prayer should be as exciting and as fulfilling as watching a game winning touchdown in the final seconds. We need to see ourselves at the very throne of God, basking in His grace and mercy, fully accepted in His beloved Son. Sure there must be reverence in our heart, there must be respect. But can we pray with the intimacy of a little child talking with his Dad as he tucks him into bed?

The Mudpreacher and his three sons

The Mudpreacher and his three sons

My three sons were each about a year apart. My wife and I would always pray with them before going to bed. As soon as they could ask questions, we would play a ‘game’ before prayer whereby they would ask me a question. It could be about anything, but the point was to try to stump me. I don’t remember many of the questions, but I do remember the great fun we had just talking about what they were curious about. This was a special time, a time of laughing, loving and enjoying each other.

I love to see our church folk enjoy visiting and laughing and fellowshipping together. Why can’t we do that around the throne of God? How can we make our prayer times powerful and uplifting? How can we use that time to grow closer together as a family? How can we use that time to ask God what is on our heart? How can we use that time to know God’s Heart?

We have just had a four week “experiment” with small groups in our church. I was most encouraged by a new level of intimacy that I had not seen before in our church. Sure our group had the normal chatting and laughing, but there was an openness and intimacy that developed, which never would have happened during our normal Church meetings. But the thing that impressed me the most was hearing simple, humble prayers that served to uplift us and bring us closer together. The prayer time was the most special time of the whole evening. WOW! How do we bring that into our church building? I hope we can continue to have small groups as a regular part of our church. I believe Jeremiah 13:15-17 gives us an insight as to the importance of growing in our prayer-life.

“Hear and give ear: Do not be proud, For the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness. But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly And run down with tears, Because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.”

We need to be giving glory to God on a daily basis, before He brings darkness into our lives. We need to be seeking His light each and every day. I have found that the darkness isn’t nearly so frightening when you have the Light of God in your heart. That Light needs prayer to fuel it. That Light needs an on-going link with the Supreme Power Source, Jehovah God.

Prayer is the Link to Power

Prayer is the Link to Power

When darkness comes into our lives, some of us turn to God and hope He will turn on the lights and make the darkness go away. In actuality the darkness has come because we have not been seeking His light. We will have to stumble around in darkness until our pride and self-sufficiency is exhausted and we truly desire God once more.

Daily Prayer is our way of listening to God, listening to what He wants to do in our lives. It should not be only to bend His ear for what we want. We should be yielding our ears to His Voice, to obey His Word. Prayer is essential to developing good ears to hear. Prayer should never be proud, never be demanding. Earnest and fervent perhaps, but never presuming upon the will of God. Claim the promises of His Word in bold prayer, but listen humbly at His feet for His Voice. If we do not listen to God, if we do not give Him glory, but glory in our own abilities, we will stumble in the darkness. We will be taken captive by our lusts, our pride, our arrogance. God will weep because we have turned away from Him!