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Ears to Hear

But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, "I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry."

Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me." But of Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."

Romans 10:16-21 (NRSV)

Pat Banta Kreml lives in Florida. Due to a sinus infection, one of her ears became filled with fluid. She could hear clearly out of her good ear, but the other only registered muffled sounds. Pat became frustrated by her inability to hear sounds she had taken for granted before. Pat had to ask people to repeat themselves in conversation. Sound distortion threw her off key during praise team rehearsal, and she couldn't hear important details when the team leader gave instructions. For a time, Pat literally did not have ears to hear.

How often do we suffer from the same affliction in our spiritual lives? Worldly distractions, fear, stubbornness, pride, apathy, selfishness, and sin can build up in our hearts and keep us from heating God's voice. Our pastor preaches a message, but we may catch only part of it because we're distracted. We ask God for guidance, but we might fail to study scripture and miss God's answers. God is always speaking, but sometimes a blockage distorts our hearing.

When Pat's doctor drained the fluid from her ear canal, her full hearing returned. The Great Physician will clear out our spiritual blockages too. We just need to acknowledge our lack of spiritual hearing and turn our hearts toward God.

Prayer: Father God, please remove the blockages that prevent us from hearing your voice clearly so that we may have ears to hear when you speak, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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