Hebrews 5:9-11 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God a High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
God addressed a problem among His early believers by explaining to them that we learn by what we hear from Him through being open to receive. He commented about the reason why they didn't understand the deeper things that He had been trying to get through to them. They had become dull of hearing. When we close our ears and hearts off to Him we reach a place of being stagnant, unable to grow because we've limited what we will receive. It's hard to explain things to someone who has become “dull of hearing”. There is an air about them that says, “I don't believe that and I won't receive it”! Often you can tell where a person is in their ability to receive by their body language. Arms folded in front and a skeptical look on their face often reveals that they are closed to anything you might want to say to them. They have “shut you out”!
Jesus referred to this problem in Matthew 13:14-16 when quoting the Prophet Isaiah about why he spoke to people in parables:
“And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;”
He was limited to how much He could say to them because they were not open to receiving His teaching that would ultimately bring healing into their lives. Since we receive from God by grace and through our faith, if we are not open to what He wants to say to us we will not be able to receive the healing that His message offers. We will not see what He wants to show us!
Assumptions that we hold in our hearts and minds often limit us to “selective hearing and seeing”. Some common assumptions are: “well, we've never done it this way before”; “I've never seen God move like that in my church”; “I don't believe God wants to speak to me in that way”; “I'm too old to change what I believe now”; “I don't think God wants to move through me so I'll just be content to go to church every Sunday and let the others be the soul winners”. And on and on and on! There are all kinds of assumptions that we can have that will limit what we believe to receive from the Lord!
Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
God's word goes on to say that the natural course of us seeing and hearing what He wants to say to us is that we should grow up to be teachers, or those who share what we have learned with others. When we grow and take in what He has to give us then we have something to give out to someone else. As long as we are just taking in the milk of the word because we've limited our ability to receive from Him then we will continue to need only milk. The meat of His word comes through being open to receive and then applying what we have received into our own lives. Growth, even spiritual growth, requires that we move from milk to meat and begin to exercise what we have been taught. You would not give your car keys to a baby because it is not mature enough to handle the responsibility. Likewise, God will not entrust a spiritual baby with the responsibility of a mature leader. Growth comes as we receive from Him and apply it to our own lives. That, according to this scripture, means that we have trained our senses, our eyes and ears, to know both good and evil, or in other words, we've trained our senses to identify what is of God and what isn't. We've grown from babies to adults in our spiritual walk with the Lord.
Have you grown dull of hearing? Are you caught up in the cage of assumptions, believing that God only speaks a certain way, or that Christianity is only for a certain group of believers that believes exactly like you?
Hebrews 6:1, 2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
In other words, let's move forward, not getting stuck in the beginning things of our Christianity. Let's go on to perfection, or maturity; let's grow up. God has so much more for us than the elementary principles of Christianity. He wants us to experience the meat of His Word; to know the joy of knowing Him and hearing His voice to deliver us from evil and bring His healing power into our lives. He wants us to be able to lead others into a deep and intimate relationship with Him, but you can't give something away that you don't own yourself.
Father, I thank You for the meat of Your Word. I thank You that You have given us as Your children the ability to hear Your voice and to see the things that You want to reveal to us. I pray that we may never close our eyes and ears to You, but we will be open to receive all that You want us to know and have. Father, I pray for those this morning who may be stuck in the beginning stages of Christianity. I pray that they will yield to Your Spirit within them to teach them how to move forward. Show them the way that they each should take in their walk with You. Your plan is individualized; not a formula that says, “one size fits all”, but You have a specific plan for each one of us that is only realized as we seek Your will for our lives. May we never grow dull of hearing so that You can no longer work in our lives or move us into the places that You want to take us. Thank You for Your love that never gives up on us, Father! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.