Today's verse is Mark 4:9: "And he (Jesus) said, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Jesus has just taught on the parable of the sower and the soils. He concludes this teaching with an admonition to listen. This phrase, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," is translated into contemporary vernacular in several different ways. It's the parent saying to a child, "You need to listen better!" It's the teacher saying, "Now listen! This information is very important." It's the coach saying to his team, "Now everyone listen up!" and then giving very important instructions. It's the boss saying, "Please hear me on this" and then giving essential direction on an issue.
With all the noise surrounding us, we have forgotten the discipline of listening. Casual, lazy hearing is what most of us do too often throughout the day. Seldom do we sit down with the Word of God and say, "Here I am, Lord, Teach me. My spiritual ears are open." Seldom do we ever go off alone to hear God's voice, to discern his will over a long period of time. Seldom does our heart long simply to hear his voice.
In teaching about the four soils, the four kinds of human hearts, Jesus knew this teaching was essential for their lives. They needed to identify the condition of their own hearts so they could HEAR his word planted within. That's why here Jesus emphasized for them (and us) the need to develop the spiritual discipline of listening.
Do you have it? If you desire to have it, it will demand a complete surrender of your proud, self-sufficient, busy, careless, lazy self to God. I will mean that you desire more than anything else the hearing and doing of God's will in your life. It will mean you want to bear fruit for God, thirty, sixty, even one hundred fold!
Once you yield all to our great God, then the discipline of listening to him, especially in his Word, becomes a great joy. The spiritual discipline of listening becomes a master passion of your life. The desire to be alone and hear his voice and will grows every day.
Is this your desire? Did you HEAR what I just said?