Open your ears, and come to me! Listen so that you may live!” (Isa. 55:1-3, GW, bold emphasis mine).
Wait a moment. Here the Bible is telling us to open our ears. But in the very same book, five chapters earlier, Holy Spirit told us that He will open our ears (Is. 50:5). Which is it? Is it supposed to be us, or Him, opening our ears?
Communication with God is a two-way street. He will overwhelmingly make up for our human frailty by opening our ears and empowering us to hear Him. However, He can only do so if we follow the instructions in this Scripture and actively listen. What does this look like? As we consider the answer, here are several other translations’ renderings of this same phrase, “Open your ears”:
- “Incline your ear” (NKJV).
- “Give ear” (NIV).
- “Listen now” (GNT).
- “Pay attention” (HCSB).
- “Come to me with your ears wide open” (TLB).
Are we “inclining our ear?” Are we really setting aside time each day to lean in eagerly, listening for His voice? Are we “giving ear?” In prayer, are we quieting ourselves enough in the conversation to give Him a turn to speak? Are we “paying attention?” Are we making hearing from Him one of the highest priorities of our day?
Do you know what one of the biggest obstacles is, to hearing Him speak? It’s not believing that He really wants to. I suspect that many of us doubt that He does (in the depths of our secret hearts, maybe where we haven’t even acknowledged it to ourselves.)
But we are wrong. The truth is, He longs to communicate with us. He aches for it. Do you hear His heart as you read the words above one more time? Let your mind be richly renewed by their truth. He is imploring us to draw near to Him… for the sole purpose of hearing Him articulate His heart to us. Truly, He yearns to speak very personally, very intimately, with each one of us. So He entreats us; urges us, to listen closely, hungrily, for what He wants to tenderly impart to us.
And what happens if we heed this imploring? Our souls will live! Our inner being will fill up with His life! We will delight in the most luxuriant of fare! We will receive health, vitality, courage, nourishment!
Instead, so often, we run around in a frenzy, trying to solve our problems in our own miniscule strength, with our own diminutive wisdom. Holy Spirit addresses this, gently asking us, “Why do you spend money on what cannot nourish you and your wages on what does not satisfy you?” Why are you devoting the resources of your time and energy to what drains you, instead of to what will invigorate you with supernatural strength?
Lean in and listen! Do you hear Him? Do you hear the One who loves you more than His own life speaking? “Open your ears, and come to me! Listen so that you may live!”
Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe that Daddy wants to speak with you, intimately and often?