Are You Listening? (Rev 2:7)
WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – In Revelation 2 and 3, the Lord Jesus sends seven messages to seven churches. Each church was real in that day but also representative of churches ever since. Each had different strengths and weaknesses, and Jesus gave unique, detailed instructions to each.
However, there was one directive he repeated word-for-word to every one of them. It applied not only to the churches but to all their members:
“Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says…” (Rev 2:7 and 2:11,17,29; 3:6,13,22).
Jesus issued the same plea and command in his preaching throughout the Gospels: “If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen” (Mark 4:23 and others).
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – The Lord has much to say to us, and he’s constantly saying it. He’s warning us of dangers and revealing opportunities. He’s showing us our weaknesses and highlighting our strengths. He’s directing us to stop here or turn there. He’s promising us his current support and encouraging us of our final victory.
God is speaking, dear friends. The question is: Are we listening? He’s wasting his breath if we’re not paying attention. That’s why one of his most frequent commands in Scripture is the simple word: “Listen.”
The primary way we listen to God is through his written Word. We study it to learn what he wants to tell us through it.
But that’s not what Jesus is talking about when he urges us to “listen” to him in the Gospels and to “listen to what the Spirit says” on his behalf in Revelation. He’s not talking about study but about our actively seeking the voice of God about our specific, current needs.
Here are some things you can do to “listen to what the Spirit says” more frequently and to hear him more clearly:
- Acknowledge his presence in you – “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth … he remains with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
- Recognize his ministry to you – “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth … He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14).
- Trust him to teach you – “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26).
- Expect him to guide you – “I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in every town the Holy Spirit warns me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me” (Paul in Acts 20:22-23).
- Ask him to speak to you – “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know” (Jer 33:3).
Spirit of God, help us today to “incline our ears” and come to you that we may live (Isa 55:3). Direct us in our choices. Give us your comfort in our pain, your encouragement in our despair, and your power for our ministries. Please help us recognize the things you’re working on in us so that we may cooperate with you. Help us this day to glorify Jesus in our world as you glorify him in our lives.