Devotional: How do you hear?

Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him. (Luke 8:18 NKJV)

Here, we find a solemn warning. The way in which we open up to hear God will determine the way in which God imparts Himself to us. But, if we shut God out by wrong hearing, then we become bankrupt. Jesus repeats the same principle—the principle of increase or decrease according to what we hear and how we hear.

I want to mention another principle about how to hear: we must learn what to accept and what to reject. There is a very pertinent statement in Job 12:11: “Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?”

The ear fulfils the same function in regard to words as the mouth does in regard to what we eat. We all know that if we put something into our mouth that is bitter or unpleasant, we do not swallow it; we spit it out. What that statement in Job is saying is that our ears need to do the same to what we hear. If we hear something that is bitter, negative, or destructive to our faith, then we should not accept it; we should reject it.

Just as the tongue tastes the food, the ear tests words. I have often said to people, “When you listen to a preacher (or whoever is talking), do what you do when you eat fish: swallow the meat and spit out the bones. If you swallow the bones, you are going to be sorry for it.” That is my simple application of what Jesus meant when He said, “Take heed how you hear.” Let the right thing in, but keep the wrong thing out. If you let the wrong thing in, you will regret it.

Father, give please give me discernment through your Holy Spirit so I’ll know when to listen, en when to shut my ears. Open my ears to hear as a disciple (Isaiah 50:4). In Jesus Name, Amen!

This devotional is taken from

The Power of Faith

Previously published as: Faith to Live By. The Power of Faith is a resource for every Christian who wants to receive the promises of a faith-filled life and to do what would otherwise be impossible.

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