I have a constant dilemma. Every time I go back to my language of birth for a significant period of time, my English suffers upon my return. My verbal forms and grammar get all back to front. This, I suppose, is the price of learning English at a later age in life.
But it also reveals another clear reality that is applicable in many areas of life: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
This is not just a fact of life; this is also true in the spiritual sense.
In the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark we see Jesus tell the people, “He who has ears, let him hear.” This statement sits right at the end of the parable of the sower. Jesus’ directive is for those who want to attune their spiritual radar to His voice and His words. As He explains the parable to His disciples, He concludes by saying, “the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
There is a direct correlation between the sowing and the “hearing”. While Christ speaks to all, those who will spiritually discern His voice will be moved to action. This transformational action in the lives of those who follow Him brings results that are abundant and, to a certain degree, totally unexpected.
The rest will hear the words but will not “listen” to them, thus missing out on an opportunity to see the blessings of a productive harvest. While they can have the experience, they run the risk of losing it.
"While Christ speaks to all, those who will spiritually discern His voice will be moved to action."
Recently, hundreds of Adventists across Australia opened their homes to their communities as part of the Australian Union Conference’s “Open Home” initiative—an opportunity to “hear” and act accordingly. It was a starting point to be involved and put faith into action. It was an invitation to use whatever we have heard from Him to connect and become friends with those around us.
This is not always easy. We are always looking for the right method but we forget that God, instead, is always looking for the right person—those who have ears to hear His words.
Pastor Jorge Munoz is president of the Australian Union Conference.