Not So Common Senses
My father's deaf. Well, he's not really deaf - he just has selective hearing! Mum can talk to him all day long and he'll claim he never heard a word she said. But if mum and I are whispering something he doesn't need to know about - he doesn't miss a syllable. It's quite miraculous!
We all have different reasons for not hearing. It could be congenital deafness, hearing loss due to old age or working on a noisy work site. It could be that we're distracted by something we're watching on TV, or we have a mental block, or we're too far away to hear what's being said.
When Jesus was teaching His disciples through parables, He would often conclude His instruction with the saying, “he who has ears, let him hear.” Now they all had ears, and as far as we know, they could all hear what He was saying to them, but as we will see, there is a distinct difference between hearing and understanding.
Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and will increase understanding ....”
The word 'hear' in Strong's is No. 191, and it means 'to listen, to obey'. So when Jesus says in Matthew 13:15, “Their ears are dull of hearing” He means the people do not understand His words, and consequently do not obey them. The difference between hearing and understanding has to do with a person's mind. To hear and understand spiritual matters has to do with the Spirit of God within us. (See 1 Corinthians 2:10-16)
One very important result of hearing is explained by Paul in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Or, to use Strong's definition of the word, “So then faith comes by listening/obeying, and listening/obeying by the Word of God.”
Another integral part of hearing is covered in John 10:3-5, “The sheep hear the shepherd's voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers.”
In case that needs explanation, read in verse 27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.”
We need to learn to hear and recognise the voice of our Shepherd,and to not block out what He is telling us because of our own opinions, or traditions or beliefs.
Another of our not-so-common senses is the sense of spiritualsight.
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Not just by the seeing of the eyes, but seeing God through knowing and trusting in Him, having spiritual perception.
We are also told in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we should, “Walk by faith, and not by sight” because, “Faith is the substance (or reality) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
Back in Matthew 13:15 Christ says, “For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”
In Hebrews 11:13-14 it speaks of the saints who died in faith, not having received the promises but who invariably could see the promises of God afar off. Those who looked to the One who was invisible looked towards a better country, and yes, looked forward to the city God has prepared for them. They 'saw' this, not through physical eyes, but through spiritual sight and faith.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 noting especially v.12, “But it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.
v.10 But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
v.11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
v.12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
v.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
v.14 But the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
If we are spiritually short-sighted, or seem to see things through unfocused lenses, then the answer is more of God's Holy Spirit!
The third not-so-common sense we have is taste.
King David, in Psalm 119:103 said, “How sweet are your words to my heart, yes sweeter than honey to my mouth.” And in Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Obviously, with taste, if food or drink is pleasant to us, then we will eat and drink of it more often, and that applies even more so spiritually speaking.
We're told in Matthew 4:4 that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” In Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
God will satisfy our spiritual appetites!
The last and most important word on the importance of taste and spiritual appetites should be left to Yeshua Himself.
In John 6:53-58, “Jesus said, Verily, verily I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
v.54 Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks by my blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
v.55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
v.56 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.
v.57 As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats men, even he shall live by me.
v.58 This is that bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead; he that eats of this bread shall live forever.”
To taste the Kingdom and life eternal, is to eat of God. Do we have that taste?
The fourth common sense we'll cover is smell.
Revelation 8:3-4, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
v.4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.”
Are we aware that our prayers, our petitions, our conversations with Almighty God, can rise up either as a stench, or as a sweet-smelling savour to Him?
In 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 Paul says “We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other, the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
My understanding is that it is not just what we say to God in prayer, but rather what we do that is recognised by others, that smells sweet and fragrant. So we've got to ask ourselves – are we fragrant or noisome?
The last not-so-common spiritual sense to cover is that oftouch.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Paul encourages us to, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.” In 1 Timothy 6:12 he says, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life....”
We are told not just to touch what is being offered to us, but to cling to it, hold fast, grab on to it! For that touch, that hold we have on the promises of God will culminate in our reward.
Revelation 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly. Hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown (or your reward).”
Our reward has to be precious and valuable enough to us so we won't ever let it go!
Even though our five physical senses may diminish or fail as we get older, the spiritual senses will continue to flourish, and indeed, get bolder!