Rev 2:7: Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.
When I was young there was a group of kids around my neighborhood that all hung out. There was one guy in the group, however, that was mischievous. Actually, he was a downright bully. You didn’t want to get on his bad side because you weren’t sure what he would do. He would systematically turn each of us against each other so that, at any given time, “the group” would be mad at one of the members and we would all gang up on that person. It was fun until you were the focal point, and then it just plain stunk! Stupid kid stuff, but I was reminded of that scene as I was reading this scripture.
Our society is so quick to give a listening ear to the whims and turns of popular culture. If it sounds good in the moment, we go with it – whether it’s based on truth or not. This leaves a lot of room to be easily manipulated. But let’s make one thing clear: whoever has your ear doesn’t necessarily have your back.
Eve, in the Garden of Eden, was easily seduced by the serpent because she turned a listening ear to him. Look at the chaos that ensued! Why was she walking in the Garden with the serpent in the first place? We all know the story in Genesis 3 where Satan asked the infamous question, “Did God really say?” A question that, when listened to, wore her down and allowed deception a place at the table. The serpent wasn’t looking out for her best interest, but rather his own. Yet she allowed him to influence her by listening to him. That decision caused her to stray away from the truth of what God had already said. He had no authority over Adam and Eve. But he could talk, and talk he did! The talked Eve into agreeing with him. The only time Satan has any authority over us is when we give it to him. How? By agreeing with what he says.
James 1:22-25 says, “…do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror, and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.
It’s not that we can’t listen to trusted voices. The key word here is “trusted”. But we must listen first to the voice of God, and then we can listen and agree with others if it lines up with what God has already spoken over your life. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying! No chaos! Just victory, fruit, life! God’s got your back, so give HIM your ear!