A spiritual Tomatis effect

By Dave Henning / January 27, 2018

“Maybe [problem-solving techniques fail] . . . because we’re treating symptoms while ignoring the root cause: a spiritual Tomatis effect.  Is it possible that what we perceive to be relational, emotional, and spiritual problems are actually hearing problems — ears that have been deafened to the voice of God.”- John Ortberg

In the Prologue (“The Tomatis Effect”) of his latest book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, Mark Batterson discusses the Tomatis effect.  More than fifty years ago, an otolaryngologist named Dr. Alfred Tomatis treated a renowned opera singer.  Mysteriously, the opera singer had lost the ability to sing certain notes.

Dr. Tomatis discovered that even an average opera singer produces 140-decibel sound waves at a distance of one meter.  That’s comparable to a military jet taking off from an aircraft carrier.  Most noteworthy, the inside of an opera singer’s skull magnifies that sound.  Therefore, the sound of the opera singer’s own voice deafened him.

Thus, Pastor Batterson suggests, your negative self-talk deafens you, throwing your life off-key.  As a result, God doesn’t get His Word in edgewise.  Eventually the competing voices of criticism, condemnation, and lies so deafen you that you’re unable to sing God’s song.  Because you lack the ability to hear His voice.

Hence, Mark wonders, “Is God’s voice the loudest in your life?  That’s the question.  If the answer is no, that’s the problem.”

In conclusion, Pastor Batterson believes we have so little to say because we listen so little, especially to God.  Ultimately, Mark adds, we need to find our voice – the unique message God desires to speak through our lives.  However, in order to find our voice, we must start with hearing His voice.

Furthermore, the author exhorts, we need to pray the bold prayer of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:9 – “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”  Before you pray that prayer, though, Mark issues one warning:

“If you aren’t willing to listen to everything God has to say, you eventually won’t hear anything He has to say.  If you want to hear His comforting voice, you have to listen to His convicting voice.  and it’s often what we want to hear least that we need to hear most.  Trust me, though: you want to hear what He has to say.”

Today’s question: Do you truly want to hear what God has to say?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The absolute threshold of hearing”

About the author

Dave Henning

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