1: How Good is Your Spiritual Ear?
I am so excited today! It’s going to be so good digging into this material — it’s just so good to simply be a part of Lent. This is such a special time. I just absolutely love this time of the year!
My message to you today is: the Scriptures are your beginning tool for developing your spiritual ear. And today’s guiding scripture comes from Romans 10:17: So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Faith is your spiritual ability to see beyond what appears. Faith looks into seeing nothing and sees something.
Faith looks at a practical telephone and sees a high-tech communication device. Faith looks at manifested form and sees unmanifested function. Faith looks at what is and then says, but here is what can be.
Faith is developed by hearing, as Paul explained in his letter to the Romans. So let me tell you why this is important: There are spiritual messages that are being broadcast every day, all around you! Everywhere you look, there are spiritual messages. We are like the fish in water.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, “Now the Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Translating that verse metaphysically, “We find now the I am is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the I am, there is freedom.”
Well, where is the I am? It’s everywhere, evenly present. And what is that message that’s everywhere, evenly present that brings freedom? That message is an idea (or a set of ideas) that will take, or build, on manifested form, and turn it into as yet unmanifested function.
Hear me good, speaking an absolute here: Every message from God is an expansion on what is, into what can be.
It may be the improvement of your marriage. We’re going to take what may not be functioning at well right now, and turn it into what can function well. It may be improvement in your health. We’re going to take what may not be going or what may not be pleasing to you right now and turn it into what is pleasing. Every message from God, period, point blank.
Every message from God takes a look at what is, and fills you with the ideas of what can be. Every day all around, God is broadcasting these ideas. And if you grasp those ideas, then you will be able to take manifested form and bring forth unmanifested function. You’ll be able to look at an existing telephone and say, “No. This is a high-tech communication device that is more powerful than the computer that sent the rocket into outer space.”
Are you hearing me? Your ability — your ability to do something — to hear the messages that are being broadcast all around you comes down to this question: How good is your spiritual ear?
In music, one might ask, do you have a good ear? And to have a “good ear” means a lot of things! First, you’re highly aware of the sounds that your ear senses. Two, you hear detail where others might only hear a blur of sound. Number three, you hear in depth. You’re able to pick apart and uncover layers in the overall sound. And four, you can reliably judge details such as pitches and timber.
In music, ear training is the practice of learning to identify pitches, rhythms, chords, and other music theory concepts by ear. So I went to the experts because, you know, we’ve got an amazing worship team! And I asked them: Can someone develop a good ear? If you’re not a singer, can you develop a good ear?
They said, there’s surely a part that comes from everyday life and what kinds of music parents play, but it can be taught to some degree. Another person said, “Absolutely. If the student is persistent and does their homework, just as you can develop a good musical ear, you can develop a good spiritual ear.”
The messages of God are all around us. We are swimming in it, but only those with a good spiritual ear can hear them. So one whose ear is not developed, it just sounds like a blur of sound. You hear it, but there’s no depth. It doesn’t even occur to you that it’s God. Without a good spiritual ear, you cannot judge details. You look at the phone and all you see is a phone.
God is always speaking. The activity of God is ceaseless. Whatever God is ever doing, God is always doing. It isn’t so much that God has started speaking to you. It’s that you have started listening to what is already being said.
What you hear, what you pick up, the level of unmanifested form that you can perceive will be a function of how developed your spiritual ear is. I hope you’re hearing that everything that comes forth comes from someone looking at what is and then seeing what can be. It’s the artist going to a blank canvas and it’s just a blank canvas, but they look and they have an idea of what can be. It is the inventor looking at the old school telephone and seeing these high-tech devices that we have now.
Are you hearing me? Faith comes by hearing. And so, if you are not yet seeing beyond what is it’s a function of that spiritual ear. This is true everywhere. In your health, in your wealth, in your relationships… everywhere!
And so the question that ought to be on your mind right now is, “Rev. Sherri, how do I develop my spiritual ear? Get to the good part! Stop all this introduction and get me to the point. How do I get in on this “hearing” that allows me to see beyond manifested form and imagine and bring forth as yet unmanifested function?”
So we’re going to dig around in our spiritual toolbox that Rev. Pulley gave us in this amazing book, and we’re going to pull out our first tool. And he calls our first tool our “Allen Keys.”
Pulley says that scriptures are like the Allen Keys (i.e. Allen wrench, hex key) of a toolbox. They’re small, simple and light, but they can do some mighty work. If you have ever assembled furniture, you know what I’m talking about! It’s one of the most common tools around, and it gets the job done.
Scriptures are the guidelines and reference points for everything you need as a student of the Christ. So I want to talk about how you use this Allen Key because this is what will begin to unlock or clear up your hearing so that you will begin to perceive at a different level. And it’s going to be so simple, you’re going to think you miss it!
So the first thing you need to do is, read the scriptures. The second thing you need to do is, you need to study them. And the third thing that you need to do is, you need to research them. Read, study, research.
Read the Scriptures
So let’s get to the first point: read the scriptures. There is so much good that can be had if you would just read the scriptures. We tend to think of ourselves as being fixed. We don’t think about the ways that we are changing.
But the truth is that every day we are being shaped by the things that we consume, the things that we take in. Not just in the food that we eat, but in the mental things that we consume. And I thought that it was interesting that developing a good ear, a good musical ear, was influenced by the kinds of music that your parents played around you. Isn’t that amazing?
The things that are around you, feed you. Hear me? Good — because some of these are meals that you can’t refuse. The things that are around you, feed you. They are inputs into your soul, and what goes in determines what comes out. Take care of the input, and the output will take care of itself.
What if you resolved to read a line of scripture every day for 30 days? What if you made Scripture part of your daily inputs? Nothing big, nothing fancy. You could even choose to read the same line of Scripture over and over again. Don’t even change it. Just the same one every day for 30 days. Just that simple act would change what you hear.
The author of Hebrews writes, “For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing, even to the division of soul and spirit and of joint and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Just read. It’s that simple.
You might say, “Rev. Sherri, How is this a form of prayer?” Remember, prayer is communication with God. It’s both talking to and listening for God. There is this conversation that God has been attempting to have with you since you’ve been on the planet — actually before you got on the planet — but you may not have been listening, or maybe you didn’t know how to listen. As your ear develops, you develop more discernment and you start to pick up the pitch and the timber of God’s voice in you.
Study the Scriptures
Now, this brings us to point number two: study the scriptures because if reading the scripture shifts you — and it does — what do you think would happen if you took it a step further and decided to study the Scripture?
And to be clear, you don’t start here. Remember, you’re building or developing your spiritual ear. So I love what one of my music team members said about doing the work. She said, “I can tell instantly if my student has done their homework. And if they haven’t done their homework, I will tell them they can’t expect any type of improvement or better results. I tell them not to waste their time or money if they’re not sincere about giving adequate time to practice. In the beginning, it really is a daily practice until you’ve mastered the fundamentals.”
See, it isn’t that you cannot hear the voice of God. It’s that you don’t practice hearing the voice of God. And so, like the simple Allen wrench, hearing the voice of God in you takes daily practice. You have to get after it every day.
And the practice is simple. It’s very simple. You read the scriptures, and when you feel you are ready, you start studying the scriptures.
Now, depending on your relationship with that word study, this step might be intimidating. But to “study” simply means to read and to ask questions. That’s all it means to study! It means that I read it. And then I asked some questions about it.
So some questions that you might ask is: Who is speaking or to whom is the author speaking? When was this written? Where is it written? Why is this being said? And then a really easy question is, how can I apply this to my life?
And I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There are no wrong answers! You’re not writing a dissertation. All you’re doing is eating a spiritual meal. And the more you eat this meal and ask questions about this meal, the more you hear God in you. And so, you begin looking at manifested form and seeing as yet unmanifested function. You become the one that looks and sees the telephone and says, “No, I see high-tech communication device that is more powerful than the first computer that put a rocket into space.” Studying the scriptures takes you just a little bit deeper than simply reading the scriptures. And what I love about the Allen wrench is that it’s a small tool, but it can be used to put together some really big things.
Research the Scriptures
Point number three: research the Scriptures. As you grow in your comfort with the scriptures, you’re going to find that a natural hunger awakens in you, and you’re going to need to go deeper.
And so, I asked my musician friends whether you can lose your musical ear. And here’s what they told me: You can lose the ability to navigate it well if it is not practiced. But if you have a good ear, it can be revived quickly.
Part of the reason that you move to researching the scriptures is that you reach a tipping point where your soul needs more. And if you don’t feed your soul, the nourishment that it craves from researching the scriptures, it dulls the spiritual senses. Your goal is to cooperate with the forward momentum of your spiritual development. And you want that forward momentum to be uninterrupted.
Your goal — should you choose to accept it — is to become the living word, read by all people. And to do that, you have to go deeper. So let’s talk about how to research! Research is about deliberate practice — it’s about a clearly defined purpose.
First, you’re going to start by asking yourself: What do you want to improve in your life? Where do you want to be better?
For example, I want to become a person that finishes things. I’m tired of having all of these half-started projects that I get going on, but don’t carry across the finish line. I’ve had enough of that! So, I’ve got my intention set. Now what I do is I go to the scriptures. I might Google scriptures about finishing things or scriptures about manifestation. I just need something to get me started. And eventually I’m going to stumble across a verse or passage that speaks to my soul’s need… that’s when I begin to drill down! I take a look at the original language and review various translations. I want to compare it to other sacred texts because what I’m doing is I’m deepening my ability to hear.
No longer am I moving through this universe, and it’s just a blur of sound. I’m now picking up new things!
Bringing About New Manifestations
Alright, let’s review. Scriptures are your beginning tool for developing your spiritual ear. As I read, study, and research the Scriptures, how I see the manifested world changes.
Hear that. This is so powerful! As I read, study, and research the scriptures, I change how I see the manifested world.
In order to bring forth as yet unmanifested function. I’ve got to see something different. I’ve got to be able to look at what is and see beyond, to see the possibility of what it could be. As I read, study, and research the scriptures, there will be ideas that I now have the capacity to act on. There will be things that I can do something about.
See, I was put here to bring forth that which has never been done. I am not here to keep the status quo. I am here to introduce into this world forms that have never been manifested before. And I may build on an existing form. But due to the work that I’m doing with the spirit, it will be as yet unmanifested function.
No one would argue that the devices that most all of us carry around right now are phones. We still call them phones, but we know that they do so much more than just allow us to have two-way communication with one another. We can do banking. We can order food. We can order a car service. We can play video games. We can send two-way messages. You weren’t able to send those text message with those old phones, but someone looked into what is and saw what could be. And I’m telling you that it’s your birthright to bring forth as yet unmanifested function.
You may build on what is, but what you do with it will be unique to your soul. And so I just bless you to go forward now. To be all that God called you to be.
I want you to pick up that Allen wrench that’s in your spiritual toolbox. I want you to read those scriptures, study them and research them and let them unlock a world that you’ve been walking through but not yet pursued.
God bless you.