One of the best gifts Mike has ever given me is a set of Bose noise-cancelling earphones. Lest you think earphones are among the worst gifts a man could give his beloved—in the same category as giving a blender, a la Father of the Bride—let me be clear: these earphones communicate how much my husband understands and knows me. They are awesome and worth every penny, magically able to cancel out all noise—voices, background sounds, and motors (even in airplanes).
Canceling out extraneous noise is needful in society these days. We receive a constant barrage of messages, calls, notifications, and environmental cues that overload our brains. It overwhelms me, so much so that when it is quiet, it takes my thoughts a long time to quiet down.
The noise in my brain (and heart) contribute to my inability to hear God clearly. My physical hearing is overloaded, which then affect my spiritual ears, making it tough for me to hear the still, small voice of God. But life beckons me onward, and I do my zombie shuffle with spiritual ears that aren’t working at full capacity. Just like those earbuds cancel out the din of life, so too does zombie-like faith cancel out the whispers of God that bring me true life. I need to hear from God to live and live well.
Several times Jesus told the people around Him something like this: “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8, 14:35). Spiritual hearing is something we need to practice. These are spiritual muscles, so to speak, ones that need conditioning. And since every one of us has ears, Jesus is inviting every one of us to give it a try.
I’ve noticed that a steady intake of noise from the world dampens my interest in seeking the quiet I need to tune my ears to hear God’s voice. I have to make space for it; sort of like popping in my noise-cancelling earbuds. Silence isn’t just going to happen naturally. You have to choose it and make it happen.
How do you train your ears to hear the voice of God? Have you found that seeking regular quiet diminishes zombie-like faith in your heart?