In my last post I wrote about seeing through the storms of life with the eyes of faith. And how do we sharpen our eyes of faith? We have to listen to the word of God.
So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. -Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
But, in order for us to hear clearly, our hearing ability should be able to pierce through the noise. Not only the natural noise of the world, but more importantly the noise that distracts our hearts from fully receiving God’s word. This takes several forms.
Benjamin Franklin said it: “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” This is because faith sees beyond reason. Faith stems from within; reason stems from without. Reason looks for answers; faith says they are already there.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
2. Comfort Zone.
Faith is to venture out onto the purpose of God for our lives. But our comfort zone will make us believe that we don’t have to. Our comfort zone will actually make us deaf to the word of God, making us want to be entertained, intellectually tickled and even deceiving ourselves to believe that we are accomplishing God’s work where he doesn’t want us to be.
Consider Isaiah’s attitude:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” -Isaiah 6:8
The Gospel of Luke gives us a pointed illustration of this in chapter 9, verses 57-62, where we read of three men who made excuses instead of venturing out in faith to follow Jesus. In this passage, they heard the voice of the Lord, but still made excuses. Add to these excuses the oft-repeated one: “I did not hear from God.” Yet, the reality is, they refuse to listen.
Apparently the noise is far more compelling.
4. Unwholesome Talk.
This includes gossip, backbiting, negative criticisms and the like. We would rather talk about other people’s misfortunes instead of ministering to them. We hide these kinds of talk behind the guise of wanting to pray for them. When we find the downtrodden, we should only mention them to God and no one else unless we’re leading a ministry that seeks to do something good for them.
When someone asks me how to know the will of God, I answer, “Go where the need is greater; there you will find God’s will for you.”
Through the noise we need to build a quietness around us so we can listen to the voice of God that stirs up our faith.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10