Updated: Aug 8
There are those who hear, those who know, and those who do.
Which one are you? Which is more important? Think and talk about it!
John 13:17 (NKJV)
“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them”
"WE WILL NOT JUST BE HEARERS BUT DOERS, IN THE NAME OF JESUS! AMEN!" *SAID WITH A STRONG AFRICAN ACCENT*
The quote above is said quite often! However, following Jesus requires a unique combinations of acknowledging, hearing, and doing. Before studying this topic, I thought that 'doing' was the most important aspect because loving God means obeying Him (John 14:23). However, I've come to learn the value of all three. We cannot do what we do not know; we can't fully know to do until we have fully acknowledged what God's truth is. It's an interesting combination.
Let's tease it out together!
Hearers, or people who hear, are people who listen, but to listen requires being: Focused, Attentive, and Present! In Social Work terms we call this "Active Listening".
Samuel is a great example of this – 1 Samuel 3:2-10
The bible describes Samuel as being super drowsy. He was falling asleep in the church of the Lord. **I know right! How dare he; the nerves of him! **
From the text, we see that God calls Samuel three times. Samuel assumes Eli is calling him and fails to realize that God is calling him. Samuel wasn’t focused, attentive, and present. He was super drowsy!
But Eli was focused, attentive, and present so he told/taught Samuel how to answer the next time he hears the voice of the Lord. Truly, this was a learning moment for Samuel and those of us wondering if God is speaking or how to respond if there's an inkling that He is calling.
From Samuel, we learn the importance of being able to hear God's voice and being able to distinguish between God's voice and every other voice (e.g. family, friend, and even ourselves). "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" - John 10:27a reminds us that if we claim to be His, then we must be able to hear Him.
Food For Thought:
How many of us—like Samuel—are struggling to hear God? How many of us are fully awake, talk less of falling asleep, and still struggling with identifying the voice of the Shepard? How intently do we aim to hear Him?
Knowers, or people who know, are the most annoying set of people haha (joking)!
They are people who hear the voice of the Lord and know the truth and what to do but choose to do otherwise. Doing any other than what you KNOW to be right is pure disobedience. There is one exception though and that's when we fail to truly comprehend what is being said to us! This happens when we internally manipulate the truth to justify our desires. But that's a topic for another day! lol
3 examples: Genesis 19:14 Lot, Jonah 1:1-3 Jonah, Numbers 20:7-12 'Moses'
Lot warned his sons-in-law to leave Sodom & Gomorrah! These men heard! They were focused, attentive, and present enough to hear, but they did not understand that Lot was being used as a mouthpiece to save their lives so they laughed like foolish goats! They failed to distinguish the joke from the truth and it cost them their lives in the end.
Jonah also heard! He heard precisely what Go wanted him to do. He knew it was God speaking yet he ran! He was in full disobedience to the will of God. So, God showed him what happens to people who say no when God says yes! Jonah ended up doing God's will but he could've avoided being in the belly of a fish if he had obeyed in the first place.
Moses is an interesting case because he had this close bond with God! He heard God's voice, yet he failed to follow instructions. In my opinion, Moses got caught up! If you read the story from verse 2, you'll see that the people were annoying the living daylights out of Moses. They quarreled and fought and were simply never satisfied even though Moses worked HARD. One day, Moses receives word from God to provide water to the people. He was told to TAP not STRIKE but with all the fighting and yelling of the people, Moses STRUCK the rock and POW! Water! Just like that, Moses disobeyed!
Food For Thought:
If knowledge is power, why aren't people doing better? A lot of us hear or know, but we aren't aiming to literally do better or we're willfully disobeying God in an effort to satisfy ourselves. Yes, it is important for us to know and have a good understanding, but now we have reached the point of having to actually do.
Doers, or people who do, are people who act with intention!
Here are 3 examples: The Life of Jesus / John the Baptist / The Apostles
Jesus: He lived an intentional lifestyle. Every conversation He had, had the intent of drawing individuals closer to the father. He heard from His father, knew precisely what must be done, and acted accordingly.
John the Baptist: He could care less about what people thought of him as long as he was acting in accordance with God's will. In fact, John is one of the most audacious people I've read about. He would look Pharisees and Sadducees straight in the eyes call them VIPERS (foul, poisonous, shady people).
The Apostles: These are individuals who dropped everything to follow Jesus. They continued to give their all to carry on the mantle. They heard from Jesus, they knew what they had to do, and they did it!
We need all 3 concepts. To Hear, Know, and Do. We must hear from God; We must know and understand Him; We must make a deliberate effort to do it! Some of us stress a lot about Doing or Hearing or that we don't know enough. But doers without direction fail to meet demands! Take Simon Peter, for example, in John 18:7-11.
Simon Peter decided to cut the ear of an Officier trying to arrest Jesus but who gave him those instructions? Who told him that we necessary? Who put this man in the mix? No one spoke to him or told him to do that so what was he hearing? Who asked him to draw his sword and to inflict harm on another individual? Jesus had to speak to him and remind him of why he was sent— in verse 11. We cannot afford to do without direction. We can't afford to walk blindly. We need to hear from God, we need to know the plan, and we need to actually operate in the light of what we know to be the plan.
Yes. It's easier said than done but it's possible. Moses may have missed it in the heat of the moment but I have faith that we can do better in Jesus' name, Amen!