It is exceedingly important that we take the time to listen this year.
This is, after all, where faith comes from.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (see Romans 10:17).
It’s difficult to hear, however, when you’re distracted.
And if there was one tactic, one strategy that the enemy employed this past year, it was this: DISTRACTION.
The truth of the matter is that your eyes and your ears are gates to your soul.
You can actually hear with your eyes and see with your ears.
Now that you’re scratching your head in wonderment at what you just read, let me explain.
Whatever I stare at has the ability to talk to me.
This is why the goal is for us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (see Hebrews 12:2).
His life declares what faith looks like.
The more I look upon Him… the more I spend time seeking His face… the longer my goal is to know Him… the more I see what’s in His life being formed in my own by the Holy Spirit.
Not only that, I’m also able to run the race of the Christian life with endurance and bid temptation farewell when I choose to make Him my one thing (see Hebrews 12:1).
Looking is also synonymous with believing.
Whatever I choose to stare at, I’m choosing to believe.
Remember when the Israelites were being afflicted by snakes in the wilderness?
What did God tell Moses to do?
He told him to fashion a serpent made of bronze and fix it on a pole so that all who looked upon it would be healed.
What they looked at declared to their ears the promise that God made to them.
But the enemy also knows that the longer I look at something other than Christ… the more I consider it… the more opportunity I give myself to reason in my own mind about it and the more I open the door for his commentary in my life.
Think about it.
There was so much this past year to look upon.
Not only that, we were inundated with the opinions of so many regarding what was happening.
So many events and the voices attached to them seemed to be coming from every direction in an effort to steal your gaze and to fill your ears.
And in the same way that where I set my eyes matters, what I choose to listen to also matters.
If faith does come by hearing and if what I hear from God has the ability to open what Paul calls the eyes of my heart, then what I hear determines how I see or perceive what’s happening around me.
And I believe that it is 100% the goal of the enemy to steal from us what has the ability to produce faith within us.
Concluding His explanation regarding the parable of the sower, Jesus said, “So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” (see Luke 8:18)
The Lord wants revelation to spring up within us, but if the enemy can distract us with what ultimately doesn’t matter most, we will inevitably lose what it is we think we have.
Not only that, if we believe ‘staying informed’ is more valuable and important than hearing from God Himself, we will lose what we think we have.
It’s not only what we listen to that is important, but how we listen as well.
We take care how we listen by turning our attention and affection to Him… by cherishing His every word… and by declining access to every distraction.
I believe the overwhelming art of distraction aims itself at one thing — to snatch our ears and eyes away from what matters most.
In Matthew 6:22, Jesus said that the eye (how we see) is the lamp of our body and if our eye is clear, our whole body will be flooded with light.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Another translation says that if our eye is ‘single…’
In other words, when you choose to stare at one thing and one thing alone, your body will be flooded with the radiance of what you gaze upon.
I believe this to be a year, dear reader, where we give our attention to the good news of Jesus Christ so that faith may rise up within us.
What we hear and how we hear is of the utmost importance.
What we choose to listen to this year… what we choose to look upon… is everything.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
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