Because of all the years of driving old tractors with not much in the way of mufflers, running chain saws, and shooting guns, all without hearing protection, I have a significant hearing loss now. Not being able to hear most of the conversations around me has created some problems over the years, some of them quite humorous. It has also caused some skirmishes with Patty as I accuse her of whispering so I can’t hear what she is saying. A couple of years ago, I bought some hearing aids, and they work pretty good, but occasionally I have problems with them. I hate wearing these face masks so when I exit a store I usually rip it off and stuff it into my pocket. The other day I discovered that one of my hearing aids was gone, and as I pondered on how I may have lost it, I thought, “I bet I pulled it off when I took my mask off after sitting down at the table in Denny’s Restaurant, or leaving. So we drove back and checked everywhere around where we were eating and found nothing. The people that were sitting where we were helped by crawling around on their knees under the table. We went out and looked around the parking lot, and again several people joined in to help us look. I eventually found it right outside the door next to the sidewalk, and it still worked fine. Being a pastor is a lot about communication with people and not being able to hear what they say definitely creates a challenge. One of the basic principles of life is that the quality of our communication is the main factor in the quality of our relationship. What is true between people and me is also true of my relationship with God.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
My ability to hear God’s voice determines whether He is going to come in and dine with me. That word picture of dining with me is the ultimate in relationship and closness with Jesus. We all have a significant hearing loss when it comes to hearing God’s voice.
We have four sources for the thoughts that come into our minds. One is ourselves, we all have original thoughts that spring into our minds that come from our own soul. A second source is the world around us. All day long our senses are bringing information into our minds, and that information prompts many thoughts to rise to the top of our conscious thinking. A third source of many of our thoughts is the devil and his demons. As they seek to tempt us and get us to sin, talking to us us their primary method. And the fourth is God, He speaks to us and we hear him in our thoughts. The problem we have is sorting out the many thoughts that fill our mind all day long, and decerning the source. An additional problem is that the devil and His demons work very hard at imitating God’s voice, and they have had a lot of years of practice.
As a 72 year old pastor who has spent the bulk of his life seeking God and working very hard at hearing His voice, I am convinced that the very best hearing aids available to us is corporate prayer. There is something about corporate prayer that muzzles the devil and his demons, I am not sure they can even stand to be in the room where prayer is happening. When we gather together as the ”Body of Christ” to seek God and intercede for others God’s voice will be dominate as He seeks to prompt us what to pray for. If we pay attention and listen attentively to our own thoughts and the prayers that others are praying we will grow in our ability to hear God’s voices.
Beginning tomorrow morning at 5:00 am we are going to have prayer at JBC. We will pray from 5:00 am until 10:00 am Monday through Friday, and 5:00 pm through 10:00 pm as well. We will be in the Old Chapel praying together and you can also join us via zoom. If you want to join us using Zoom text me at 503-559-5282 and I will send you the link.