February 23, 2014


Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

This refrain, repeated in each of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation, is of great importance. Jesus said it in shorter form many times during His earthly ministry. (Matthew 11:15 and many more) He also congratulated His disciples because they did have ears to hear, (Matthew 13:16) even though it was obvious they didn’t hear perfectly. The thing is, we are to realize that God does talk to us by His spirit, and expect to hear from Him. Then, when we do recognize that He is talking to us, we need to listen carefully, to put it into practice. Some people are so blown out of the water that God really is talking to them personally that they allow their excitement essentially to block out most of what He is saying! That said, if we want to hear Him accurately we should become as familiar as possible with what He has already said, that is, the Bible, because He isn’t going to contradict Himself. Most people who experience it are amazed at how frequently and consistently God speaks to them, once they get their head on straight and open the ears of their heart.

I have used this line as part of my Faith Declarations for well over 30 years now. At least once a week, and sometime more often, I say these out loud, as an affirmation by faith of what God is doing in and through me. They are:
1. By the grace of God, each day I am desiring and doing His perfect will more completely in my life, for it is written, “For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
2. By the grace of God, each day I am more effectively sharing the Good News of the Kingdom, for it is written, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses.” (Acts 1:8)
3. By the grace of God, each day I am more accurately hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit, for it is written, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:17)
4. By the grace of God, each day I am more accurately detecting and resisting Satan, for it is written, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
5. By the grace of God, each day I and those under me are walking more fully in the health of Jesus Christ, for it is written, “By His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
6. By the grace of God, each day I have sufficient financial resources, for it is written, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
7. By the grace of God, each day I am a better husband to Cathy, for it is written, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)
8. By the grace of God, each day I am a better father to Ruth and Ann, for it is written, “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children, but instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
9. By the grace of God, each day I am a better shepherd to the sheep He has given me, for it is written, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
These must not be simply words, but active principles in my life, for me to walk in all that God intends for me.

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to speak to me, and for how gently You do so. If I were in Your place, sometimes I’d yell and get severe! Help me indeed listen more accurately and obey more effectively day by day, so that all of Your plans may be fulfilled for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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