A friend was having issues with his hearing.  It persisted for 3 weeks until he finally went to see his doctor.  “Hmm” the doc said.  “There is something in your ear.” 

He tried to remove it, but couldn’t, so he called in reinforcements – a nurse with a power wash!   And out it popped – the rubber part of an earbud.  Evidently, he really got into his music, or actually his music got into him. 

Ironic isn’t it?  Something that was designed to enhance his hearing, impaired it instead. 

I am familiar with that problem.

In John 10 Jesus presented Himself as the Good Shepherd and we as His sheep.  The passage speaks of the intimacy that the shepherd has with His sheep. 

In verse 27, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”   KJV.  A Christian has obviously sensed the Lord’s calling at the time they came to faith in Jesus.

But here, Jesus speaks of an ongoing conversation.  The verb “hear” is present, active, indicative, meaning that it is happening now. 

Jesus speaks to His sheep – words of encouragement, correction, teaching and more.

But we may not be hearing Him, because something that was designed to enhance our hearing, impairs it instead. 

Seriously.  Where do we go to hear from the Lord?  To church – to hear the pastor preach.  And why not?  He has spent 10-20 hours studying and praying over his biblically based message.  He has interacted with the Lord and is excited about sharing it. It’s worth hearing.

But the process is a little like the momma bird that eats and then regurgitates it up for her baby.  Sure, there are nutritional benefits to the predigested meal, but some essential things were lost along the way.

It was momma who sought out her own worm – experiencing the excitement of the hunt and the joy of discovery.   She savored the thrill of victory and then enjoyed a fresh, satisfying, tasty meal. 

Sermons, Bible studies, books, videos, podcasts or even this blog are great – but regurgitations at best. 

What our spirit craves is the joy of discovery and the excitement of the hunt, the thrill of understanding and the fresh, satisfying experience of hearing the voice of the Lord.

So, try this.  Open your Bible and chew on one of the stories of Jesus in the Gospels.  Some folks prefer to read several chapters a day.  I find that more time thinking about less is far more rewarding.

As you read, ask and answer 3 questions about your reading. 

1. “What do I see?”    Make a list of your observations.   Look for the who, where, what, when, why and how of the story.   Consider the details like a detective would a crime scene. 

2. “What Does It Mean?   Try to sum up the theme of the story in a sentence.  What is the moral of the story?  

3. “What does the Lord want me to do with this?”  How can you implement what you learned in your life?  Is there an attitude or behavior than needs to change?  Should you be encouraged, convicted, corrected?  What is the Lord saying to you through what you have read?

The Lord often speaks to us through His Word.  As we read it, we may identify with the men on the road to Emmaus who heard Jesus speak.  “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?”  (Luke 24:32) NET Bible ®

The rewards are boundless.  I have been studying my Bible this way every night for almost 50 years.  Sure, a person can tire of reading the same thing over and over, BUT, when the Lord speaks freshly to me as I read, there is nothing better!  So, grab your Bible and perk up your ears!

A PRAYER: Lord it frustrates me to know that You are speaking, but I am not always hearing.  Help me!

This has been Jim Johnson with pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.