We hear a lot of things because we have ears to hear. The sounds are received by our hearing sense. This does not mean that we listen to the sounds. There are many things we hear but we decide which ones we will listen to. There are many sounds happening right now that we hear from our surroundings. We can hear the birds singing, the cars running, the washing machine washing, etc. etc. We hear these sounds but do not listen to them.
Listening is a higher function where we receive what we hear and absorb it. We need to listen to help our brains understand what we hear. If we don’t listen then we allow the sounds to pass. Like a bird that flies past till we allow it to build a nest. When we listen we are seeking to understand what we hear. This involves our attention so that we can receive the sounds to decipher the message.
Once we listen our brain then interprets the message. This is a higher level of functioning where we have to interpret what we have received. The whole process happens so quickly that most of the time we are unaware of this process. When we listen attentively we will understand the message. Just like a message sent by telegraph is just a series of unintelligible sounds to an untrained person, but a trained receiver understands the sounds sent. The sounds are then interpreted as a message. The message must then be understood and believed.
Believing is a state of the heart. I can understand but still not believe. My head understands but my heart refuses to believe. Therefore we have a lot of unbelieving Christians. Head belief is not heart belief. Many will say, Lord, we have done wonders in Your name, but Jesus will say, I never knew you (Matt 7:22, 23). What a sad condition is this? We must believe what is written in the Word of God. Just understanding is not enough. When we believe and obey we will see His workings and manifestations. Choose today to believe and not just to understand.