“Near the end of the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy,” Stan began, “Paul uses an expression that makes me smile every time I read it.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“He writes about ears being tickled,” Stan replied. “And that makes me smile as I envision what it is that tickles my ears; what is it that makes my ears laugh over what they hear?”
Continuing, he added, “While I think Paul is writing specifically about false doctrine, I also think the whole notion of tickled ears goes way beyond that, both for the good and the not-so-good. There was a time in my life when the only thing I wanted to have ‘tickle my ears’ was what I heard from self, the world, the flesh, and the devil. Everything that was apart and separate from God seemed to tickle my ears.”
“And you got over that?” I asked.
“Mostly,” Stan replied, “but not completely. If I’m not careful, I still can fall into the trap of having my ears tickled by the wrong things.”
“If those are the ‘wrong things’,” I responded, “what are the ‘right things’?”
“Those are the things,” Stan replied, “that last and are the most pleasurable. Such as the voice of God that comes through His word. Also the voice of the Holy Spirit who is in me for that very purpose.”
“Oh, it’s easy,” Stan continued, “to get temporary pleasure from having my ears tickled by hearing the untruth of self, the world, the flesh, and the devil. But the pleasure that endures for me can and does come only from having my ears tickled by what tickles God’s heart.”
“I need to be constantly vigilant,” Stan concluded, “in what I allow to tickle my ears, and what I allow to come into my life through what I hear!”
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to tickle my ears with the voice of your truth. I confess that too often I tend to have my ears tickled by listening to the voice of self, the world, the flesh, and the devil; all sorts of things that are apart from you. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead to want only to listen to you and to what you have to say to me through your word and through the voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Please, Father, tickle my ears and make me smile with what tickles your heart! Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.