Daily Devotion for January 16, 2021

Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.” (1 Samuel 3:11)

Have you ever felt your “ears burning,” because someone, somewhere, was talking about you?  Have you ever had a sudden fright that caused your body to tense, even causing your ears to stiffen?  Have you ever heard something that made you ask, “Come again?” simply because you couldn’t believe what you heard?  Our ears are sensitive receptors that allow us to make sense of reality, yet sometimes we cannot believe our ears.

I honestly believe that God’s Word should make our ears tingle every time we hear it.  The reason it doesn’t always set our ears abuzz is because we have allowed it to become too familiar and accepted.  We hear through our own filters, and our filters create for us comfort, safety, protection, and complacency.  It is very difficult to read and hear God’s Word with “fresh ears,” as though we have not heard it dozens of times before. 

In this relatively new year, it might be a wonderful exercise to have someone read out loud to us Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount.  If this doesn’t make your ears tingle, then you aren’t paying attention!  Blessed are the poor in Spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are reviled and persecuted.  Seriously?  These don’t feel like blessings.  My ears are tingling.  Turn the other cheek?  Judged for anger? Don’t resist the evildoer?  Really?  Tingling ears.  Be perfect!  Be the light of the world!! Do not judge!!!  Does God understand us at all?  Ears are ringing off the side of my head!

When God speaks, God calls for change.  When God speaks, we are asked to leave our past behind.  When God speaks, God expects us to follow and grow and be transformed.  When God speaks, our comfort is made uncomfortable, our safety is made less secure, our protection is converted to risk-taking, and our complacency is burned away by action.  Tingle?  More like landslide, avalanche, earthquake upheaval.

Growing up, my favorite superhero was (is) Spider-Man.  One of his powers he called his “spidey-sense,” an early warning of danger or threat.  God has given us a “spidey-sense,” a way of perceiving opportunity, possibility, and need.  The Word of God should set our ears, our minds, our hearts, and our spirits tingling for living our faith in such a way that our world is transformed.  So, open your ears, listen to God, and receive the tingle as God continues to do great things in us.

God grant us a set of open ears, willing to hear, ready to tingle, and receiving your Word and Will that we might serve you faithfully.  Break through our walls of comfort and complacency so that we might respond with passion, commitment and integrity.  Amen.