|With Jesus as Lord, we share His Love|
Sitting at the supper table one evening, my daughter and her husband watched in disbelief as their three-year-old son, with a confused look on his face, began smearing his sticky hands across the front of his shirt. His daddy had just told him, "Don't wipe your hands on your shirt, Micah!" so his parents were doubly amazed that he would so blatantly and deliberately disobey. It took Micah's sixteen-year-old uncle to realize and explain that Micah hadn't heard the word "don't" and so in confusion and what he believed to be obedience, was doing what he thought he'd heard.
In the parable of the seeds in Luke chapter eight, Jesus talked about four ways of hearing. Hearing "by the wayside" is the kind of hearing in which the devil comes and snatches away the truths of the Word before the person believes. Hearing "on a rock" is the kind of hearing in which the truth springs up, but develops no root. This kind of hearing results in receiving the Word with joy, believing for a time, but then falling away when temptation comes. A third kind of hearing is the kind of hearing in which the truth of the Word falls "among thorns." Interestingly enough, Jesus used thorns to represent, not only the troubles of this life, but also its "riches and pleasures". Scripture is clear that these concerns are distractions that prevent believers from bringing spiritual "fruit to maturity".
If these are the wrong kinds of hearing, what is the right kind?
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15
Hearing correctly is so important that Jesus concluded this parable with the words:
Therefore take heed how you hear. Luke 8:18
Now, our little grandson made an honest mistake, and his parents recognized this and wisely gave him no consequences for his misunderstanding. He was, after all, trying to obey. But his innocent mistake serves as a good reminder of just how important it is to hear correctly. Sometimes, what we think we know keeps us from hearing what we need to know. And it's our responsibility to make sure that the soil of our hearts is the "good ground" of a "noble and good heart" so we can hear correctly. Our growth and maturity in our walk with the Lord depends upon it.