Hear second – the hinge

By Dave Henning / May 23, 2023

“Come first.  Hear second.  The second rhythm on the way to a well-built life is ‘Hear my words.’  It is the instruction sandwiched between the other two rhythms: it is the hinge.  We come to Jesus in order to hear his words of life, and we must hear something from him to practice following him.”- Alli Patterson (emphasis author’s)

“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people.  They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear.”- Ezekiel 12:2 (NIV)

In her Preface (“Hear”) to Part 2 of How to Stay Standing, Alli Patterson underscores that God connects the life He plans for you with hearing His words.  Most significantly, Alli states, as you encounter the written word of God you hear the living word of God louder and more frequently.

However, Alli counsels, only when the Word reaches a soft, open heart does hearing lead to life.  Furthermore, the expression ears to hear dates back to prophets like Moses and Ezekiel.  Above all, Alli stresses that ears to hear:

  • function only in the kingdom of God and only with an open and willing heart.
  • compel the hearer to put into practice what they are hearing.
  • serve as the heart and center of the daily rhythms of come, hear, and practice.

But the Bible associates ears that cannot hear with hard hearts.  Thus, hard hearts are skeptical, unlikely to obey.  In addition, people with deaf ears either cannot or will not accept and understand God’s ways.

In conclusion, Alli exhorts:

“It’s only [Jesus’s] words, heard and practiced, that can build a life on solid ground. . . .  Once received, you need . . . to regularly hear God’s words with a soft, open heart.  Believers, it’s time to believe you have ears to hear.  You need to use them on a regular basis. . . .

There’s a living God, and if you’re in Christ, you have the ears to hear him.  To open and train them for use, I want you to quiet down, have a plan, and learn your story.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you to truly hear second, with ears to hear?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The tipping point – a cacophony”

About the author

Dave Henning

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