Today we have a few more points on Lying with our ears. Another term for it might be “selective hearing,” hearing what we WANT to hear.
Just to review the points we have had:
1- We lie with our ears when we hear what we WANTED or expected someone to say, and not what they really said. This is how the false teachers turn the truth of God into a lie.
2- We lie with our ears when we think God is approving what He has forbidden us to have.
3- We lie with our ears when we intentionally close them—close out the message we could have and should have heard.
4- We lie with our ears when we don’t listen carefully—and miss the facts. How many times the Bible says, “Pay attention.” “Take heed.”
5- We lie with our ears when we jump to (unwarranted) conclusions.
6-We lie with our ears when we half listen, half-hear, half-understand. When we do this, the message that comes from our ears to our brain is a double-message part of it distorted by our self-seeking, our pride, our focus on ourselves, our sensitive feelings, or our unforgiving spirit. This makes the message we hear half true and half false. Lying with our ears, we heard only what we WANTED to hear. This is where we must be careful not to judge by what we THOUGHT we heard—because it is only PARTLY the facts!
This is why James says,
James 1:8 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
That is why the Psalmist prayed,
Psalm 119:80 80Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, That I may not be ashamed.
What is the source of true, genuine faith? How does faith come?
Romans 10:17 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes by HEARING the word, hearing it as it really is, not like we think it OUGHT to be.
7- We lie with our ears if we don’t hear to the point of DOING what we hear. Jesus said it in his very first sermon. Though very familiar, it is a passage we should keep in mind, to realize we are responsible for what we hear. If we don’t both HEAR and DO, our ears are only doing half their job, and are giving us a lie. And when the storm strikes, our house of life will come down.
Because we didn’t get the whole message!
Let’s be wise hearers!
Matthew 7:24–25 24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Hear and do! It is our every day responsibility.
8- We lie with our ears when we delete something from the message that we don’t want to hear.
This is what King Saul did when the Lord sent him on a special assignment.
1 Samuel 15:1 (REB) 1Samuel said to Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel. Now listen to the voice of the Lord: 3Go now, fall upon the Amalekites, destroy them, and put their property under ban. Spare no one; put them all to death, men and women, children and babes in arms, herds and flocks, camels and donkeys.’
Did Saul hear and do? God said he did not. In fact, God’s response was:
1 Samuel 15:11 11“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.
Was Saul ready to acknowledge his disobedience and turn to God for forgiveness? Not at all. And even when Samuel was questioning him about what he did, Saul made this blatant statement about his obedience.
1 Samuel 15:20 20And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
Had Saul heard the command of God? Yes! But he had deleted the part he didn’t like, the part that would require him to give up his proud image in front of the people.
God’s commands are not for us to edit, either with our tongue, our hands or our minds. What he says we MUST do—as Saul found out. This was Samuel’s ultimatum to him:
1 Samuel 15:22–23 22So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Finally Saul responded with the truth. He really had heard correctly, even though he told himself the lie.
1 Samuel 15:24 24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
Saul feared the people MORE than he feared the judgment of God.
9- Prevention is always better than cure, and Jesus has the formula that will PREVENT any lying with our ears. It is recorded in His last letter delivered from heaven by his angel.
Revelation 1:3 3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
The secret is hearing the right text- “the words of this prophecy”—and then KEEPING it—guarding it, obeying it.
READ – that is gleaning any thought or word anytime we have opportunity, so as to keep it in mind
And HEAR (as in public audience), corporate reading of the Word together as in worship and assembly
And KEEP (watch, guard, fulfill) – that is the obedience. This makes the heavenly communication complete.
There is a blessing for hearing, a GREAT and eternal blessing, if we keep our ears open and listening.
If we learn to listen as eagerly for the message that condemns us as for the one that commends us. We need to hear BOTH.
Both are important:
Hear and DO.
Hear, Read, KEEP.
Don’t let your ears give you a lie and make you stumble!