In Isaiah 55:3, it says "Come to me with your ears wide open." It's phrase I read recently and it was taken hold of my heart. This verse is an invitation from God to Israel. It was spoken in a time when, it seems, Israel's ears were no longer open...
So, I sat and asked myself what it meant for my ears to be opened, and what it meant for a nation's ears to be open? In this verse God was wanting the relationship with his people restored and for each of them to encounter his love, just like David did.
The invitation to "Come to me with ears wide open" tells me that God wants to be speak and that he has designed us and desires for us to hear him do so. This then led me to wonder why for so many generations the church focused on teaching about God and not how to hear God. The church seemed to put this into the too hard basket and left it in the hands of experts, or just simply left it in the pages of the bible. Now, don't get me wrong, the bible is a fantastic place to discover the voice of God, but it most definitely isn't the only place. Nor, do I believe, that God ever intended for his words to be trapped within the pages of the bible.
Did the Israelites grow content with the Law of Moses being the voice of God? Did they leave it in the hands of the Levites? Then, have we done the same with our theologians, pastors and leaders? To put the voice of God in the hands of these people takes away from connection that God has designed each of us to be in.
So, "come with your ears wide open" is the start of a conversation that will draw you deeper into relationship with the one who created you. You will discover that he speaks and that you can not only hear him, you can understand him. You can grow so used to the sound of his voice that you just know it when you hear it. Don't let anyone convince you that can't. Don't let anyone convince you that you will most likely get it all wrong. If we have been designed to hear him, then our orientation should always be towards God wanting to be understood.
Think of it this way... Would you ever want to be in a relationship where you assumed that you were going to get wrong everything that person was going to tell you? It would be a very short relationship and one in which you constantly felt that you were the the person in the wrong. This would be dysfunctional at best and abusive at worst... Again, this is not, and has never been, our design. Trust grows in a relationship when we learn to trust what we are hearing. Trust is a byproduct of seeing actions back up what we're hearing. If we're constantly believing that we're not hearing correctly, then trust will never grow.
So, what is God saying to you today? Let's start by believing you're hearing him right and let's see where we can take this. To Israel, he spoke to them as a nation and this should not be lost on us. But to speak to a nation means that God first speaks to the individuals of that nation. As we learn that we can hear and test what we're hearing, we will discover, the voice of God for a nation through His people. And as Israel learned, this alway forms up around the relationship he wants with us all.