Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. (Proverbs 8:34, NKJV)
A blessing is always the result of hearing. To be blessed means to be “empowered for prosperity”. True biblical prosperity involves so much more than just money. It involves abundance, peace and an increase in every area of our lives. It doesn’t mean escaping from our problems, but rather that we know that our salvation and blessing are on the way. Prosperity gives you the strength to be in control of your circumstances rather than being controlled by your circumstances. You gain that sort of strength by hearing God’s Word. In other words, whatever you choose to listen to will determine whether or not you are capable of handling the difficult situations the enemy brings to you. Let me make it practical. When you are seriously ill, satan is quick to whisper in your ear, “You’re not going to get well. You’re going to die.” When you regularly hear the Word of healing, however, it empowers you to take charge of the situation and to drive both satan and the symptoms of the disease from your life.
As I write about this truth, my mind goes back to 2009 when I was diagnosed with the Guillain-Barré Syndrome – a viral disease that systematically attacked my whole body. During this time I experienced a great deal of trauma and confusion. Medical specialists were standing next to my bed, arguing about what was wrong with me – you can imagine how I felt, realising that not even the medical experts understood what was wrong with me. During this time, I went through a death experience where I was clinically dead for 25 minutes, I was assaulted by demons and I was also told that I would never preach again. Never preach again? Preaching is my life! I read through my book, A Silent Adventure, which I wrote shortly after this experience, and my eye was drawn to a specific sentence I wrote:
See to it that your Bible remains open, read it, hear it, reflect on it and live every day in the light of His promises.
This literally became my lifeline and salvation. In that time, my vocal chords were paralysed so I could not speak – all I could do was listen to God’s Word. I listened to men and women of God who preached His Word, I listened and I listened and I listened! Have you seen what happens to a sponge if you submerge it in water? It becomes heavy with the water it has absorbed. This is what happened to me as I listened to God’s Word. I became like a sponge – absorbing the truth from the Word of God. Even though the odds were never in my favor, and the medical reports said that it was impossible for me to be healed – I chose to keep the Word of God close to me and believe in His Word and His plans for me. His Word reminded me that I was the apple of His eye, that He had good plans in store for me – plans to prosper and not to harm me. God’s Word in me enabled me to filter what people were saying around me. The grip that the disease had on me slowly but surely began to relax and I knew that it was because I kept the right words and truth close to me.