“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15 The Amplified Bible – AMP)
There is a joy in knowing, as believers, that GOD is our Father. But ignorance has robbed many believers, including me at one time, of that joy. And, as a result of that, many of us have suffered unnecessary indignity and shame instead of the colorful lives we were supposed to enjoy.
For years, I struggled to understand how to maximize the benefits of the relationship between me and my Father in heaven. Until recently, when I again read one of Kenneth E. Hagin’s booklets that I acquired (and read) back in 2002, I really didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the blessings that were mine for having GOD as my Father.
Or, let me put it this way. I think I knew the magnitude of the blessings. But what I really didn’t know was how to appropriate the blessings in a way that would make it obvious to me and everyone around me, that this man was walking in the blessings of GOD. And until we are in that place, we are not there.
Now, the fault is not that of the teachers appointed to me. For the only thing my teachers didn’t do was to practically break my head (is that possible?) and stuff GOD’s Word in it. For they spent considerate energy teaching me these “mysteries” as my Bishop, Dr. David Oyedepo, would call them. But I just didn’t get it fast enough.
However, the Holy Spirit had mercy on me months ago, when He led me to re-read that Hagin’s roughly 60-page booklet titled, “GOD’S WORD … A Never-Failing Remedy. And, this time around, a phrase in the book stuck indelibly in my heart as if this were the first time I was reading the book.
The phrase, taken from Proverbs 4:20, says: “My son … incline thine ear unto my sayings….” The way that sentence found its way into my heart this time around and settled there, you would think that was my first time of hearing or reading the Word. Talk of faith coming by hearing and hearing by the Word of GOD (repeatedly) (Romans 10:17)! Emphasis mine.
I will take the liberty of quoting copiously from this Hagin’s booklet for you to get what he said and how he explained it, that had me floating on air weeks after I finally understood the message this time around.
“The last part of Proverbs 4:20,” Hagin states on Page 3 of the book, “says, ‘…incline thine ear unto my sayings’. That means take God’s Word in through your ear gates. Open your ears to God’s sayings. Drink His words in by hearing them.
“However, when God says to incline your ears to His sayings, that means more than just hearing the Word once or twice. For example, people say, “Oh, I’ve heard that already.
“But, you see, inclining your ear to God’s sayings is a continual action. You are to be continuously hearing His Word. Keep your ears hearing and hearing the Word (Rom. 10:17).
“If you are attending to God’s Word and you are opening your ears to God’s sayings, then you are closing your ears to all other sayings that would try to rob the Word from you; such as fear, doubt, and unbelief.
“The Word can be life and health to all your flesh right now! All you have to do is take God’s medicine – His Word – as your remedy. God’s Word can be a remedy to any situation in your life. But first, you will have to read and know it for yourself”.
After this latest reading of the book, I began to hear GOD’s voice from the pages of the Bible much more clearly than at any time before now, because I was learning fast how to “incline my own ears” to GOD’s Word.
My understanding of “inclining” one’s ears to GOD’s Word is that, when you read the Word of GOD in the Bible, and you really hear what He says, then you will do what the Word says you should do. That’s “inclining” one’s ears.
For instance, 1 Peter 1:1-3 (The Amplified Bible – AMP) says:
1 To those [elect—both Jewish and Gentile believers] who live as exiles, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia [Minor], and Bithynia, who are chosen
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with His blood: may grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be yours in increasing abundance [as you walk closely with God].
3 Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant and boundless mercy has caused us to be born again [that is, to be reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
This is a graphical description of my relationship with GOD the Father after my New Birth; and by “inclining my ears to that Word,” I began to realize that GOD is to me what my earthly father was, only that He loves me more than my earthly father ever did (he is late now), or could ever have done; despite all his care and attention for me. And I tell you the truth, my father really worked hard at it!
But then, there is a big hurdle for me. For, while I am now thrilled to know that I have the Almighty GOD as my Father, and I could depend on Him the same way I depended on my earthly father to do things for me; I realize that there was a price I paid in order to guarantee that I enjoyed a cordial relationship with my earthly father, and I have to pay the same price for my heavenly Father, who loved me ever before I knew Him and started to love Him, to see me as a responsible son; the way He saw King David.
For example, if I disobeyed one of my earthly father’s instructions, that could mean he would cane me or serve me an appropriate punishment. Should I expect less from my heavenly Father? Even if I was under any wrong illusion that I could, the Word of GOD spoken to my heart in John 14:23 by Master Jesus, which I inclined my ears to, says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
By this, I understand that the only way the Father–son relationship between GOD the Father and me, His adopted son, would work smoothly, was for me to toe His line, do His will and never play pranks on Him (as I dared not do with my earthly father without earning his heavy sanctions).
Someone may say: “But GOD is not like that! He’s kind; long suffering and ever forgiving.” I agree. Those are my heavenly Father’s attributes. But I would encourage you to start “inclining your ears to His Words.” When you do, you will hear clearly when Apostle Paul warns born again Christians in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (The Amplified Bible):
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [by perversion], nor those who participate in homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.”
Paul repeats the warning in Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV): “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
My joy in knowing that GOD is my Father is that I know that He has lavished His love on me (just imagine His giving Jesus, His only begotten Son, as a ransom for the life of every sinner, including mine!). And that He continues to care for all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Therefore, just as it was an honour for me to respect my earthly father by obeying him and doing things that pleased him, so also, am I now obligated and determined to honour GOD, respect His Word and do His will for my life.
What about you? You need to start inclining your ears to GOD’s Word from today!
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