Hebrews 3:15 “…….Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” The following verses 16-19 teach us how the voices of doubt and unbelief harden our hearts, resulting in spiritual deafness.
It is vital for every Believer to develop sensitivity to hear, and know the Voice of God. There is a difference between the written word of God and the Voice of God. Matthew 4 records the temptations of Jesus by the devil. The devil quoted the written word of God to Him in an attempt to abort Jesus’ divine purpose on earth. However, Jesus was tuned in to the Voice of God in an intimate relationship with His Father, thus discerning and refusing the devil’s ploys. We may quote scriptures but unless they are quickened by the Holy Spirit they are just the dead letter of the word. Jesus rebuked the devil’s temptation with food quoting, “…..Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” Matthew 4:4. A proceeding word is a living, quickened word by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was called the Word, the Living Word because the words He spoke came from the Voice of His Father, whom He was tuned into intimately.
God is working with us by His Holy Spirit to develop intimacy with Him in order that we recognise His Voice when He speaks. Jesus declared: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me”, John 10: 27. Our spiritual hearing becomes stronger as we learn to obey. Even Jesus, our Pattern Man, had to learn obedience by the things He had to surrender to, (Hebrews 5:8).
John 5 records Jesus healing the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda. The Jews accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath law seeing the healing as work on the Sabbath day. The Jews were so fixed on quoting the dead letter of the law to reprimand Jesus in this chapter, that they missed their opportunity to receive their Messiah, whom God had sent among them. They saw Jesus with their physical eyes, but their hearts were so hardened with unbelief and pride that they did not see Him with spiritual eyes. Jesus said: “But I said to you ‘That you also have seen Me, and do not believe,” John 6: 36. They were blinded by their unbelief. Selah.
John 17:3 Jesus said: “And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Any relationship can only develop as time is spent together in order that a knowing of each other is developed. The Lord knows all about us in His omniscience, but He desires for us to get to know Him intimately. Only then will we learn to recognise His voice.
There are many voices in the world in which we live: Television, radio, newspapers, internet, family, friends, work colleagues, government, doctors, circumstances, reason, common sense etc. The voices are many that seek to control our thinking. That is why it is so important to know what God is saying, to hear His Voice. His is the Voice of truth to me, to hear, follow and obey. When circumstances and reason overwhelm me, it is time to step aside, not react and make time to hear what God is saying.
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…..”, Revelation 3:21
Revelation 4: 1-2 John was taken up into a vision of heaven. He said the FIRST VOICE he heard was as the clear sound of a trumpet bidding him “Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.” Immediately John was in the spirit and saw many revelations. As we obey the first Voice, we become Spirit sensitive. That first voice may not be the first voice I hear numerically, for there may be many voices screaming at me, especially circumstance and reason, but only God’s Voice must be given pre-eminence, the first Voice. His is the Voice of truth and divine destiny. If I waiver or disobey, I will enter into confusion, the enemy’s ground.
John heard the Voice as a trumpet in his vision. After being mightily used of God, Elijah, fearing for his life and running from a woman, heard the Voice of God as a still, small Voice, (1 Kings 19: 12). We cannot confine God’s ways to a box or a formula. He is God and has the whole universe at His disposal. His Voice may even come to us through someone we may deem an uncomely member.
Beware of refusing God’s message because the postman/mailman’s trousers are dirty! The delivery man is only the delivery man, the message is pure if it is the Voice of God. Watch the witness of the Holy Spirit. He will only witness to truth.
Casting Crowns have a song: The Voice of Truth. The words to the chorus are as follows:
“But the Voice of truth, tells me a different story, The Voice of truth says ‘Do not be afraid’,
The Voice of truth says ‘This is for My glory’. Out of all the voices calling out to me,
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth.”
Dear Lord Jesus, on our ongoing journey, please help us to develop sensitivity to hear Your Voice and obey without waivering, entering into another portion of the birthright of every Believer, to hear the Voice of God for themselves. Amen.