Jeff Lawrence

The gift of listening

Recently I’ve been catching some of the Republican National Convention.  And I must admit, I love watching and listening to great communicators.  Those who can articulate an idea of depth in a way that’s accessible to the listener amazes me.

In many ways it’s an art.  Words that flow together with passion and emphasis; transporting the listener to a unique place where reason can be ignited…or squelched, is in itself a powerful tool.

Just as musicians hone and perfect their skill, or artist sway their brush…so great communicators disseminate their words to apply just the right delivery, at just the right time, for just the right effect.  Boom…the crowd’s in a frenzy.  Boom…the crowd’s in tears.  It’s an amazing artistic tool that can bring the masses to their knees…awestruck.

Yet in all of it’s glory…there is one even greater.

The power to HEAR!  The power to receive and comprehend.  The power to listen & be aware is in itself the more critical and powerful tool – for there lies the power of understanding and transformation.

In Luke 8, we find a bold mystery revealed in the parable of the sower.  Jesus is describing a farmer who scattered seeds giving emphasis to the eventual demise of some and growth of others.

The parable in itself is potent…yet the after effect is even more so.

For at the end of the parable Jesus literally calls out (or cries out in a loud voice): “Let him who has ears hear and understand” (also interpreted: “anyone who is willing to HEAR should LISTEN and UNDERSTAND).

In reality, there’s never been a greater communicator than Jesus.  It would be true to say “He wrote the book.”  You could even add: “He made the mind, created reason”…and certainly knows how to speak.  He is, after all – God in flesh!  The power in His voice is immense and unsearchable.
Yet the crowd is left scratching their heads in bewilderment.  Even the disciples had to ask: “What did that story mean?”

And here is where the mystery is revealed: “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God.  But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled – ‘They see what I do, but they don’t really see; they hear what I say, but they don’t understand’…”

Hearing requires ears & mind.

Receiving and understanding requires the Spirit.  And the Spirit offers penetration into the unsearchable depths of the soul. The mysteries of God’s Kingdom are not found in the blinding light for all to see.  Yet for all who choose to see and choose to hear…it’s closer than our very breath.

When God speaks, His declaration requires a different set of ears.  Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week the Great Communicator is revealing the great mysteries of His Kingdom.  Catapulting from the page, exploding from the sky, radiating in the heavens and carried on the wind are the truths of His infinite glory and your unmatched worth.

Yet very few are they that hear…or see.  And – that includes me and you.

So…you think you’ve seen Him?  You think that’s Him whispering His truth?  Next time you consume His Word – allow the truth to jump through your ears to your heart and bring a burst of joy. Allow the storm to reveal His presence in gentle profound power.  Allow the stars to proclaim His expanse and bring tears from a soul captivated with His desire.

And then…understanding His mysteries…reflect His glory!  For that is why we were made!



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