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How you hear

Luke 8:18

    “Therefore, take heed how you hear, {For} whoever has, to him {more} will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”

It is rare that a warning spoken by Jesus is so difficult to accept. The words of Jesus usually coincide with what we feel in our hearts, however, there are some that reveal what we do not want to admit. This is one of those verses. Here, the Lord states that we are to take heed- or literally pay attention to- how we hear. In Mark 4:24, He warns to take heed whatwe hear. We will not discuss this verse in any detail today. It is only mentioned in order that we might understand that Jesus makes a distinction between what we hear and how we hear. This is extremely significant. It is easier to filter out what we hear because we can turn the radio or television off, we can isolate ourselves from those who speak evil, etc. Paying attention to how we hear is not only as important but is an insuperable and continuous task. The exercise of paying attention to “how we hear” is composed of self-evaluation, Holy Spirit guidance and humility on a continuous basis. This requires more strength than humans have and thus the power of God must be relied upon entirely. In practice, the course of action is as follows: We hear something, speech. This speech could or could not be directed toward us. When we hear what is said, we must pay close attention to our emotions. How do we “feel” about what we have heard? What is our “knee jerk” reaction? Our emotions are the biggest indicator of what we actually believe in our hearts. However, they are not to be relied upon any more than we rely upon a gauge. If we are driving our car and we see that the fuel gauge is on low, we go and fill it up and then we forget about it. We do not see that it is low, fill it up, then go to another station and fill it up more and then the next day go fill it up again {unless we have to} simply based on the fact that we like the way the gauge looks when it registers full. That type of behavior is obsessive compulsive and is a mental disorder. This is essentially what people do with their emotions. They must, at all times have their gauges “full” and thus obsess when they are not. I have said all of this to illustrate the unmitigated irrationality of relying on emotions to dictate our actions. Knowing this, we can see then that our emotions are simply a gauge, a tool, to indicate where our hearts- minds, wills, and emotions are at any given moment in time. When we hear speech, any speech, we must take a few seconds to evaluate our hearts based on our emotional responses. Once the evaluation is complete, we must then analyze the data. We do this by holding what he have heard up to the word of God. Does it agree with the principles or the very word of God? If not, we immediately reject it. If so, then we accept it. Next, we evaluate our response to it. Did we feel good or bad when we heard it? If what we heard coincides with the word of God, and we responded with negative emotions, then we must command our hearts to yield to the word of God. This happens particularly when we hear a sermon that we need but that “steps on our toes.” On the contrary, if what we have heard does not line up with God’s word and we are glad about it then should be accepted and meditated upon. What we do with what we hear is what will determine what we continue to hear and what we receive. Incidentally, what we hear can come from the mouths of others or from our own mouths or internal conversations. How we “feel” or to be exact, how we internalize what we hear composes how we see the world and what we receive from this life. The Word of God must be our plumb line upon which we measure everything we hear. When we hear the word of God, if we want to see its manifestation in our lives, we receive it, study it, meditate on it and act on it. Taking these actions will manifest the word of God in our lives materially. As well, anything that we hear will function this way.

    Next, our Lord Jesus stated that to he who has more will be given and whoever does not have, whatever he seems to have will be taken. In this section of the statement, Jesus was specifically referring to the Word of God. When we hear something and we either accept it as bearing the word of God or we reject it as opposing the word of God, we are filtering out, or taking heed what we hear. After the hearing comes the manifesting. We begin to manifest the word of God because we are planting more of it and protecting what we have planted so that we gain more yield from our efforts. The better care we take of what we hear, as a farmer cares for his planted seed, the more harvest we receive. On the contrary, when we hear the word of God and we do not command our minds, wills, and emotions to yield to it in order to manifest it, then we essentially allow the weeds, insects, birds of prey and disease to come infiltrate and destroy our crop. 

    This verse can be slightly off putting because we believe it is “unfair” to take from those who have little, and that opinion is accurate. However holding that opinion reveals that we believe that God is who will take the little that one has. This is wholly untrue. God does not steal, kill, or destroy- that is satans forte’. When we are not proactive about how we hear what we hear, then we naturally will not protect anything we have heard that is of value. This relaxed state of life is an open door to the thief. In order to gain more then, we have to care for what we have in such a way that we bring it to full maturity. It is then, and only then that we will have more seeds to plant and more mature harvest to receive. 

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