If you have ever held a seashell next to your ear the sound you heard was not the ocean but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in your ear. That interesting bit of information gives us cause for reflection.

There is something about the human make up that causes us to hear our selves more than we hear others or even God. We may think that we are good listeners. We may try to convince ourselves that we are always open to the insights and suggestions of others. We may even imagine that we are always open to hear God speak to us. But in reality, we can easily fall into the trap of shutting out the thoughts and advice of others, including God, and relying on our own intelligence and supposed wisdom in making decisions.

Adam and Eve did just that when they ignored the warning that God gave them about eating or touching the forbidden tree and its fruit. In Genesis 2:16 we read, “And the Lord God commanded the man, you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” In Genesis 3, we read that the serpent (Satan) placed doubt in Eve’s mind about what God had said. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Eve repeated what God had said to her. But then, Satan enhanced her doubt by saying, “You will not surely die.” He further enticed her by telling her that she would have greater knowledge by eating of the forbidden tree – she would be like God knowing good and evil. Eve heard and even repeated God’s warning. However, with encouragement from Satan, her response was like putting a seashell to her ear – thinking that she was hearing God, she actually listened to herself and her own desire. She ate the forbidden fruit. Not only did she disobey but she enticed her husband to do the same. Her actions and the actions of her husband brought God’s judgment upon them both. Sin entered their lives and they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

Listening to ourselves, relying on our own wisdom, allowing Satan to enhance our doubt of what God has said is a pathway to sin, disobedience, trouble and judgment from God.

Just like holding a seashell to your ear thinking that you are hearing the ocean when in reality you are hearing yourself, it is an illusion to think that we are hearing God when in fact we are hearing ourselves. You may remember the old railroad crossings that displayed the words STOP, LOOK, LISTEN. That is good advice when it comes to making decisions. Stop, look and listen. Make sure that you are hearing and obeying God and not fulfilling your own desires.

In His love,