Two Kinds of Hearing

There is a paradox in Scripture when it comes to hearing the voice of Jesus. In John 10, the Lord plainly said, “My sheep hear my voice.” So the Good Shepherd speaks to His sheep, and His sheep unfailingly hear His voice. But Jesus also said this to His beloved sheep, “Whoever has ears, let them hear . . . (Rev. 2:7, NIV).” Here Jesus says that the one who “has ears” must “hear” His voice.

How do we resolve this conflict?

It’s the difference between having a sound wave hit your eardrum (hearing) and discerning what’s being said and who is saying it (recognition).

Imagine you’re talking to a friend who is reading an email on her smart phone. As you are talking, she interrupts you saying, “Can you repeat what you just said? I wasn’t listening.” Your friend heard what you were saying, but didn’t really hear it. Meaning, she didn’t discern what was being said, because her attention was focused elsewhere.

Every minute, we are bombarded with signals from television and radio moving through the air we breathe. But unless we have a tuner that picks up those signals, we won’t recognize them. Along these lines, the fundamental action word in the Bible as it concerns the Word of the living God is not obey or submit.

It is listen.

So while the Lord frequently speaks to us and we “hear” His voice, we don’t really “hear” it unless we recognize it. This book is an exploration of what it means to listen with both sets of ears. Our goal is teach you how to recognize the Voice that’s always speaking.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:11, NLT)

— Taken from the upcoming book by Frank Viola author and Leonard Sweet.

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