It is possible to hear God's Word with our ears, but not with our hearts. Jesus knew that we can often hear without understanding. That is why He would so often say, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" If we were to paraphrase that in our modern language, Jesus would be saying, "Pay attention to what I am saying. Listen carefully to what I am telling you right now." He who has ears to hear, let him hear
. . . . It is attention with intention.
I do quite a bit of traveling. When I get on a plane and take my seat, I really don't listen carefully to the safety message that the flight attendants give before every single flight. They have a long list of information to give out. They point out the exits. They explain where the life vests are located. But often I don't pay attention. I may look at a magazine instead. Because I have heard it so many times, I think I don't need to listen.
But if the plane took off and suddenly the pilot said, "We are having some technical difficulties, and the flight attendant is going to go through that safety message for you one more time," I can guarantee you that I would be listening. Why? Because my life would depend on it. I would want to know where those exits are. I would want to know what steps I needed to take. I would like to survive in an emergency.
That is how we should read the Word of God. We need to listen carefully. It is attention with intention, listening with the desire to apply what we have read to our own lives.