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14th May: Guidance (3) -- Conductive Deafness

He who has ears to hear let him hear. Matthew 11:15

There is a saying that there are none so deaf as those who won't hear. It is possible to shut our ears purposely (Zc 7:11). In fact problems of the will may be more significant than those of spiritual perception. Words of Jesus, taken completely out of context, yet enshrine a principle, 'If any man's will is to do his will, he shall know' (Jn 7:17). It is true in experience that not until we are truly willing can God make clear to us which of the options before us is right. This may involve a major spiritual battle. We may think we are unbiased when we are not.

God's guidance may come in the language of a look (Ps 32:8 AV) -- provided that we are watching for it (Ps 123:2); or by the whisper of the Spirit in the heart, as with Simeon and Philip (Lk 2:27; Acts 8:29). If we do not hear his whisper, he may speak, or even shout to make himself heard. If we are still unresponsive, he may need to 'goad us' to attract our attention, or even to stop us in our tracks (Acts 26:13-14). And all the time we are wondering what is happening to our lives!

The trouble sometimes is that we are seeking his will with minds already made up, and asking him to confirm our plans rather than reveal his own. We can deceive not only ourselves but other people into thinking that we only want God's will, thus effectively stifling any further discussion in the matter.

O give me Samuel's ear,
The open ear O Lord,
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of thy word.
Like him to answer at thy call
And to obey thee first of all.

James Drummond Burns.

Further reading: Acts 26:9-16. Je 42:1-6, 20:22. Heb 4:12-13.


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