Thursday, September 7, 2006

John Fletcher: Spiritual Hearing

Have you ever taken the time to listen to nothing in particular? If you haven't done so recently, consider taking some time to listen to nature. Look at this picture and let your imagination hear the ambient sounds:

Can you hear the water lapping against the boat? Can you hear the gentle bumping of the boat against the dock? Can you hear the creaking of the dock's sun bleached boards? Can you hear the noise of the wind rise and fall? Can you hear the chirping of crickets or the occasional splash as a fish comes to the surface of the lake? What can you hear?

We live in a noisy universe; so often we are too busy to listen to the rhythm of life. What is worse, so often we are too busy to listen to the cadence of God's voice.

John Fletcher knew that believers can hear beyond the range of the physical vibrations reverberating against our eardrums. He knew we can hear with our spirits, too. Consider his thoughts from Christ Manifested:
Let us now consider the sense of HEARING. If you do not allow for the possibility of spiritual hearing, what do you make of our Lord's repeated caution 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear'? Or what can be the meaning of the following scriptures : 'Hear now this, 0 foolish people ... which have ears, and hear not'; 'Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears'; 'Ye cannot hear my word-ye are of your father the devil.... He that is of God, heareth God's words : ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God'? Can it be supposed that our Lord spake of outward hearing, when He said 'The hour cometh, and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God'; 'My sheep hear my voice'; 'every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me'? Do not all sinners stand spiritually in need of Christ's powerful 'Ephphatha! Be opened!'? Is a man truly converted, if he cannot witness with Isaiah 'the Lord wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned'; or say with the Psalmist 'mine ears hast thou opened'? Had not the believers at Ephesus heard Christ, and been 'taught of him'?; when St. Paul was caught up into the third heaven, did he not hear words unspeakable? And, far from thinking spiritual hearing absurd, or impossible, did Paul not question whether he was not then out of the body? And does not St. John positively declare, that he was in the spirit, when he heard Jesus say 'I am the first and the last'?
He who has ears to hear, let him hear that the Spirit is saying to the churches—and to him.