Our daughter Angela has been struggling with sensitivity to loud noises, with pain and muffled feelings in her left ear. The doctor listened to her explanation and looked in her ears, expecting to find either an infection or a buildup of wax. There was no infection and no wax build up. She looked closer at her left ear drum and said that she thought she was suffering from Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Basically, the pressure in the sinuses builds up to a point where it starts sucking the ear drum into the ear. She was put on a 4 day course of steroids to help.
After a week of no joy, she contacted the doctor who referred her to an ENT specialist who did a thorough examination, putting a numbing agent into her sinuses so that he could place the scope up her nostril into the sinuses to see what was happening. The sinuses appeared fine, and so did her Eustachian Tube. The specialist suspected she was suffering from Sensorineural Hearing Loss, but would need to have a comprehensive hearing test to confirm this diagnosis (Sensorineural Hearing Loss is when the nerve that goes from the inner ear to the brain becomes damaged. It is irreversible).
A stronger and more aggressive steroid was scripted. Then. she went for a hearing test. By God’s grace, the test result shows that her hearing is fine and she is not suffering from Sensoryineural Hearing Loss. However, the ear ringing and muffled feeling persists. She can hear properly and there is no hearing loss. There is a possibility of putting a grommet into her left ear, but there is no assurance that this would help since there isn’t any fluid in her ear. So, the treatment will be more conservative, with a follow-up in 8 weeks’ time.
The good news is that she has good hearing. The bad news is that they don’t know what’s causing the problem. Hearing is essential, especially for a younger person, a wife, mother, friend, daughter, etc. I have some hearing loss in my left ear due to loud noises when working in a workshop many years ago. It can be very frustrating and even devastating when you don’t hear or don’t hear properly!
Have you ever thought about hearing the Word of God? This type of hearing could be physical, emotional, academic, with rejection, for entertainment, religiously or spiritually. All of such hearing translates into either hearing with desire, “do I want to hear”, or not. My circumstances at present (relationships, financial situation, health, or level of sin) as well as my conscience, fear, anger, hatred, happiness and joy all have their impact on whether I can hear God’s Word effectively or not. The starting point to hearing God’s Word is found in the Scriptures.
Firstly, you need physical ears to hear:
Pr 20:12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—the LORD has made them both.
Secondly, some rebellious people have their ears closed by God:
Ro 11:8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.”
Thirdly, to some who persist in not wanting to hear God at all:
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
However, the invitation to hear God is given to all without exception:
Isa 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
Having a physical ear does not guarantee hearing with the spiritual ear. Desire and want for something better than what this world can offer is needed. Your conscience needs to cause the mind to address your will, forcing your heart to want God. When this happens, there is what we call “irresistible grace” that draws you to want to hear God in the inner ear. Snap! When this happens, spiritual hearing kicks in and you hear in the soul! The Breath of Life speaks and is heard!
The first Beatitude in Revelation is found in chapter 1:
Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
The practice of spiritual hearing works like this … you need to read the Bible! We could add “listen to it preached or taught”. It needs to be taken into your mind. Then, you need to hear the Bible. Reading and listening does not imply hearing! Hearing requires thinking through what was heard. This leads to meditation, reflection and consideration to achieve understanding. I am not talking about being academic or intellectual here. Rather, I am talking about intelligence … taking the things heard and applying it to the mind. The first step to effective hearing is for the mind to receive the message with understanding and transfer the message to the will which in turn causes action. The action is “take to heart”. This means to do what the Word of God says and requires! That is the teaching of Revelation 1:3.
Dear God, thank You for Your Word. Graciously help me to avoid every distraction that prevents me hearing You speaking into my spiritual ear. Lord, I want to hear You clearly. Help me to carefully think through and consider what You want me to know, how you want me to change and which blessings You want me to receive. Amen.