Luke 8: 5-15
Selective auditory attention (selective hearing): The ability that humans have, especially males, to hear selectively only what serves their interests, being conveniently deaf to what they don’t like or can use.
Actually, it’s the brains function to filter out what it evaluates as less essential or pleasant. We use this all the time, but it’s human nature to focus on the things we WANT to hear. Too often we do this with God’s voice as well.
The familiar parable of the sower is more than just a parable, it is a parable of parables. A “Rosetta Stone” for Jesus’ favorite teaching method. It is the interpretive key for all the others: only by faith can the listener comprehend and accept the truth of what God speaks.
It’s a story of the sower sowing seed into soil (say that quickly, three times!). Of the four soils Jesus describes, only one is fertile. The rest lack the depth necessary to produce fruit. The distinction is not in the skill of the sower or the quality of the seed. It’s in the condition of the soil
Each heart heard the word, but only the heart of faith was receptive to its truth.
What kind of heart do you have for the voice of God? A heart hardened by sin, apathy, bitterness, spiritual coldness, or familiarity? A shallow heart of insincerity or hypocrisy? A heart too crowded by other voices to hear the voice of God? Or a receptive heart?
During the Christmas season it is especially easy for our hearts to miss the message of Christmas. A heart crowded by the busyness and voices of the season. A heart hardened by cynicism over the materialistic and superficial celebration of our day. A heart more focused on the symbols and celebration than on Jesus. Or, a heart that hears from God this Christmas?
How can I have a receptive heart?
- Prepare my heart – just like soil I must remove hindrances and distractions.
- Pray for a softening of my heart – this requires the Spirit’s work.
- Pay heed to the seed – listen carefully when God speaks through His word.
- Practice what I already know from the seed that has been sown. Why should God reveal new insights when I ignore ones He’s already given?
God is speaking, am I listening? More important, am I hearing what He is saying?