Our Lord declares, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:47). In other words, our hearing depends upon our faith; our lack of faith will make it impossible for us to hear what God says. Because God’s Word is an indictment of fallen man, man rejects it and closes his mind to it. What we are determines how we hear, and also how we speak. In 1364, Petrarch wrote of the visit of a philosopher who came to him in his library. Petrarch said of him, “He was one of those who think they live in vain unless they are constantly snarling at Christ or his divine teachings.” In the midst of a Christian civilization, this philosopher would only listen to the followers of Averroes, not of Christ.
What we say reveals our heart. It tells others what is important in our lives, and also what we listen to.
Our world is bigger than the daily news, or the daily gossip. It is God’s world, and it accomplishes His purpose. The old saying is true: “Man proposes, God disposes.” If we listen only to men, our hearts and lives will be soured, because the turmoil, pride, and sin of men’s hearts will be expressed daily.
To hear the Lord is to hear the word of grace, peace, and victory, and it enables us to speak the word of grace to others. We are conduits and channels, and what passes through us can have a wide influence, or a narrow one, for good or for evil.
Our Lord says, “[E]very idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The word translated as “idle” means worthless, anti-work, a word that does not good. Speaking and hearing are religious matters!