What are we hearing?

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17 English Standard Version (ESV)

Thinking back to just a few weeks ago during our church retreat and the powerful time in God’s presence, I am still amazed at that night but have admittedly recently struggled with faith since that time in relation to our church and my own walk.

These words of Paul to the Roman church make a very basic but crucial point: faith comes by hearing the Word.

On Sundays, we are eager to praise and look like we have our faith strong and in practice. We have practiced and practiced the art of looking as if we have it all together.

But if we are being honest, most of us are not really turning to the Word in the crucial moments, when the flesh is tempting us.

We say we want revival but our actions and words Monday through Friday reveal otherwise. We fill our ears with everything and anything (doubt, music, entertainment, etc.) but the Word of God and somehow expect to grow in our faith. We speak words of faith and cursing with the same mouth.

Pr. Micheal Todd gave an example in a recent sermon about how a football team can have the best huddle – and discuss the plays and cheer loudly. But if they never move toward the field and play the game, it is all talk.

Pr. Jeremy Foster of Hope City Church (Houston) spoke of something called “hazy faith” this last Sunday. When you drive in fog, you can’t always see where you’re going because the visibility is limited. But you keep going because you have no option. I believe we are in a hazy faith moment of our church right now. We can’t always see the signs of how God is working but we are assured of one thing in Scripture, that He is always working things out for our good, as individuals and as the church.

So I simply ask: When it comes to our faith and moving with purpose, are we willing to move forward and give it everything? Do we truly love hearing from the Word? I believe the momentum from that moment at retreat is just getting started – but if we are not exercising that faith every day that movement will pass and we will remain in complacency. What will we choose this day?

Since the retreat we have returned to normal life and routines. But I close with a few thoughts highlighted by Bro. Bliss at our retreat:
– The enemy has distracted us from the place where we need to be.
– We get so busy in life we forget to reconnect and plug in.
– The enemy comes to attack your PRAISE first. When your praise is being silenced, there is lack of breakthrough.
– Lastly, what we need in this moment as Christ followers is an encounter not to be entertained. Have you had that encounter? If not, will you seek it?

Proving the Word to be Valid

I’ve heard it said that most in our Christian circles are “fed” with the Scripture, to the point that we have become “fat” after all the preachings and sermons we have heard. I believe this is incredibly true, as we put more focus on our attendance of meetings and listening to sermons than applying what we hear to our lives. We tend to automatically assume what is being said has no specific relevance to our life.

I say that to lead into this point:
When hearing sermons/messages, do we filter what is said through the speaker (who is a human with flaws but used of God for His glory) and not examine and prove/disprove what is said according to the standard that is the Scripture?

Our example should be the Bereans. Their story is found in Acts 17.
Verse 11 reads, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Paul and Silas came to Berea on Paul’s second missionary journey, which is believed to have taken place between 50 and 54 A.D.

They were found to have “more noble character” because of their eagerness to not only hear the Word that was spoken, but also to test what they heard and find it in the Scriptures.

My point is simply: When we hear a sermon or message from the Word of God through His messengers, do we approach it through the lens of understanding that God uses His servants, though they may be flawed and full of sin, to send His message? And that though we may not favor the speaker for whatever reason, the Word being spoken just may apply to us?