He Who Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear
What lies ahead for the church of Christ in an antichrist America will force us to learn on the run. There is no one-size-fits-all playbook to be meticulously followed by every future Ichthus or underground church. Each house church will have to follow the Holy Spirit, who alone is our pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness of this fallen world (Exodus 13:21-22). Whereas the Spirit may lead your house church to conduct its meetings and to network with other house churches in one way, He may lead the house churches of others to do so differently. Therefore, it is imperative that we personally follow the Spirit for ourselves, while permitting others the freedom to personally follow the Spirit for themselves. We will do well to remember a couple of critical scriptural truths.
- Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
- The church’s God-given mission in this world is to make disciples of Christ, not clones of itself. (Matthew 28:18-20 HCSB).
To be able to follow the “Paraclete”—the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor—through the wilderness of an end-time world and the perilous times of these last days, we will have to sharpen our spiritual senses (Hebrews 5:11-14). We must become so fine-tuned to the still small voice of the Spirit that His slightest whisper becomes not only acutely discernible and distinguishable, but positively deafening. In order to hone our sensitivity to the Spirit’s still small voice, we must devote ourselves to living out the rest of our lives in continuous communion with Christ. We must spend our days daily sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His words, which will prove to be the one thing needed for our spiritual survival (Luke 10:38-42). In addition, we’ll only need to get up to do what He tells us to do, nothing more and nothing less (John 2:5).
Are you aware of the fact that our Savior’s most oft repeated Scriptural refrain was: “He that has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9; Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:13)? In addition, His last recorded words to His church, which are found in His severn letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, are accentuated with His admonition: ”He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:1, 6, 13, 22). How important is it for Christians and churches to individually and collectively hear the words Christ speaks to us through the still small voice of the Spirit? Is anything more essential to our spiritual life, to both its sustenance and survival, in the wilderness of this world, especially now that we’ve entered the perilous times of this fallen world’s final days?
Moses told the wilderness-wandering Israelites that God’s Word was not a mere “take it or leave” proposition, but was a matter of life and death (Deuteronomy 32:46-47). Their survival was literally dependent upon their attention and adherence to God’s Word. Likewise, our Lord plainly proclaimed to His disciples that the Word He spoke to them was both spirit and life, proving the impossibility of spiritual life apart from our submission to what He says (John 6:63). The Bible teaches us that from the very beginning it was God’s intention for His “every word” to be the essence of every man’s life (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). As the Psalmist puts it, it is God’s Word that quickens us; that is, makes us alive (Psalm 119:25, 107, 154).
There is no way to overemphasize the importance of us being attuned and attentive to the voice of the Spirit, who Scripture declares to be our only trustworthy end-time guide (1 John 2:27). His words to us individually and collectively will serve as our daily directions, by which we will be enabled to navigate the tempestuous seas and dark nights of the perilous times of these last days. Our personal prayer closets and house churches must become the Holy Spirit’s chart house, where He incrementally maps out for us the safest and most suitable routes to take through the tumultuous tsunamis of end-time tribulation. We must therefore adopt in the days ahead the prayer of the young boy Samuel, who prayed in a previous trying time, “Speak Lord, your servant listens” (1 Samuel 3:1-10). As Moses told Israel, hearing God is not a “take it or leave it” proposition, but a matter of life and death. We will not survive the dark days ahead if we are individually and collectively deaf to divine direction. And we will be deaf to it if we are not devoted to sharpening our spiritual senses on the whetstone of God’s Word and the power strop of prayer!