So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10: 17

Some days seem really noisy; for they are completely filled with surround sound quality words and images. Some of this is of my own choosing; as, I turn on the TV, turn up the car sound system, and read the signs along the road. Some of this is the new version of the natural harmonics of the earth; it is an always with us, fill up our auditory processes level of background noise that can saturate our minds with its persistence.

There is little that we can do about much of this. Sure we can turn off or turn down our own electronics and we can focus on the road ahead rather than the signs along the side, but there will still be all of the rest of it. What we can do is choose which voices and whose words we allow to have access to our minds and to our hearts. God talks to us during as much of the day as we will let Him. He answers questions and He speaks words that are encouraging, words that remind us of His eternal love for us. The challenge for me comes in my selection of input to tune in to and in my willingness to listen. 

God tells us to hear Him, for He does speak. God tells us to listen, for He has words of truth for us. This is where personal choice comes in; for me, this involves reading the bible, to take in truth from an unchanging source; it involves prayer, to engage in conversation with God; and it involves opening up my mind and my heart to let truth sink into the center of my being. Then, it involves the continual process of life-prayer; talking with God and listening to him speak through out the day. The Holy Spirit walks in my skin with me, and Christ speaks continually to me with words of truth, wisdom, and love that are His alone. My part comes in focusing my hearing on God’s voice. My reminder for the day is to listen.

So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10: 17

 

I have faith in a number of things, and foremost among these is faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus is God, one of the three persons of what we call the Trinity. He descended from heaven to live as a man on this earth, and Jesus was crucified and died as the only satisfactory sacrifice for the sins of all of humanity. He was buried and rose on the third day, and Christ dwells with the Father in Heaven. Today the Holy Spirit resides with and in people on earth and provides us with God’s counsel and purpose. Then at the end of this age, Christ will return and utterly destroy all that is evil in Creation, and He will bring about the complete recreation of this world into the sin-free form that God originally crafted. All of this, I believe; yet, my hearing of its implications for my life is often very poor.

 

My mind and my heart have been exposed to God’s Word for almost all of my life. Pastors and others have taught it to me, and I have read scripture and discussions about it for as long as I have been able to read. My heart and my mind accepted and surrendered to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ a very long time ago. Still, there are too many occasions when these ears just don’t let these life-long truths into the parts of me that control my thoughts and actions. It does seem that true hearing is something that goes far beyond the function of auditory receptivity and processing. It is a function of the heart and it connects to my being at the point where my will and personal desire yield fully to God’s will and desire for me.

 

So, how does this change? What sort of auditory training do I require to become a better listener when it matters the most? It seems that Paul is a good resource for solving this challenge. My guess is that he knew my problem well, and his point of contact with the truth that leads to deep and unyielding faith is the word of Christ. That is, the complete expression of God’s righteous love and grace that is found in the full text of the Bible, is made real as life is lived in the fellowship of people of faith that is the church, and is revealed more completely by the Spirit of Christ. Hearing at the soul-deep level that Paul is discussing comes through surrender to Christ, and faith in Him grows as His word of truth fills every moment of my life.

So, faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10: 17

 

Our news is filled with voices, or at least with the words of people whose opinions have a great impact on the world where we live. The expressions of these opinionated voices are followed by an unimaginable volume of others who weigh in on what the original speakers had to say and on what it means. Our society lacks for neither the expression of life-altering edict or for the flood of response to it. Wading into this stream of thoughts and ideas is something that we can’t keep ourselves from doing. It is actually important to engage with the big issues of our times and to have an opinion on them ourselves. Yet, it is very easy to get sucked under by the powerful current that this stream generates. We can lose sight of who we are and of why we were granted minds that can think and hearts that contain passion.

 

In all of the words that come our way, there are only a few that contain absolute truth. Among the vast array of voices that are speaking at any given time, only one provides life-giving answers. So, when we attempt to respond to what we hear from the basis of our own intelligence and frame our arguments out of national pride, historic understanding of governance, or a general sense of doing what is right; we will inevitably fall short of stating the whole truth as it is set out in the Word of God. Solutions for what is sick, corrupt, and demented in our society will not be achieved by having the loudest voice in the room. Our world, especially its leaders, needs only one thing in order to travel its course in a righteous arch. That is faith in the one and the only Creator God of this universe.

 

As Paul tells us, faith comes through hearing. This is the deep soaking in of the truth that flows out of the mouth of its source. This hearing is not resident in the ears or even in the neuro-pathways that lead to our brains. The hearing on view is something that happens in and with the totality of our beings. When we are confronted with the sort of anti-God thinking and the decisions that come out of it in our world, our first response needs to come out of God’s spoken and time-tested Word of Truth. The first action that we engage in should be prayer and meditation on that word. The voice that we desperately require in these times is that of God, Himself, whose Spirit will reveal to us the righteous words to utter in response to the evil that surrounds us. The times that we are in are seriously dark and ever darkening. Living well in them requires that we have faith. We must trust in the everlasting and unalterable victory of Christ over the satanic evil of this world. Additionally, we each need to answer God’s call to speak up with a voice that is filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Romans 10: 17

 

Christ speaks out in a great voice. His voice tells the truth. He speaks of God’s desire for all people, for He seeks after all of us with the relentless zeal of a loving father who has been separated from His child. The word of God was set down for me and for you over a period of time that is remarkable in its length. Still, despite the fact that it was written over such a long period of time and by a multitude of writers who lived in such different cultures, it remains consistent in the story that it tells. God’s Word is an unending narrative of God’s faithful love and unrelenting desire to be in a relationship with each of us.

 

As I listen to what God has to say, my heart hears the story of how He loves me, cares about my life, and seeks to provide it with meaning. From the very first words on the pages to the last expression of the Lord’s revealed truth, God is telling me everything that I need to know about living through this day in the peace and joy of His will and in the safety of His righteousness. In addition to the written word, the Spirit of Christ leads me to the depth of understanding that brings the heart and the mind of Christ alive in me as I read, pray, and meditate on these truths.

 

Through hearing the voice of God, I get to know Him intimately, for the Lord reveals Himself in and through His Word. In this process of gaining knowledge and understanding of God, I am led by His Spirit to understand myself more honestly, too. The necessary conclusion to be reached from hearing God’s Word is that faith in Christ is essential for life and that growing in this faith leads to true living. This is a day by day and moment by moment process of growing in my relationship with Christ. Thus, I can face every day with the certain knowledge that my Lord will take me through it and that I can trust Him totally with all that is on my heart.