Two men were on a short journey in a small aircraft when the pilot suddenly passed out and lost consciousness. Panic set in as the two passengers could not revive the pilot and had no idea how to fly the plane. In frenzied fear one of the men called into the radio controls, “Hello, hello, is anyone out there? Help, help!” Another plane within radio signal picked up the distress call and responded, “Who are you? What’s going on? Don’t you know how to use correct radio communications? Mayday!” The fearful passengers quickly put the responder in the picture of their dire situation. Realising the danger, the responder gave the following instruction to the distraught men: “Right, listen to me, listen to my voice. Do exactly as I tell you and I will bring you through, and down, safely. We are going to pass through some clouds and bad weather, take no notice, just listen to my voice and the directions I give. Stay focused on my commands, not what you can see, or feel. Listen to my voice and the voice will bring you home safely. Knowing the imminent danger, the responder’s commands were diligently and strictly followed. Their only focus was the voice, knowing full well the danger of their life-threatening predicament. They knew nothing. They were told: “Listen to the voice, and the voice will bring you home”. They had to trust the voice of the one who had the greater knowledge and could bring them to safety. Eventually the voice informed the men it was time to bring them down to earth. They were told to focus on the cross at the end of the runway. After seven attempts at touching down, they finally landed safely. (Only then did the pilate regain consciousness!!!).
How important it is for us to know God’s voice when the voice of my circumstances shouts loudest. Do I recognise it when He speaks? Recognising His voice is a process. In order to hear, one has first to listen. When I obey, the voice becomes clearer. Some Christians say, “I don’t know God’s voice, He does not speak to me”. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”, John 10:27.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture. A lady purchased a few sheep for her smallholding. At first they were bewildered and huddled in a corner fearfully at her approach. Over the ensuing weeks she talked to the sheep and gained their trust. They learned to recognise her voice and followed her. It is in a sheep’s nature to follow, that is why we should follow our Good Shepherd. There were times when the lady wanted to walk without the sheep following her, and she taught them a command “to stay”. At these times she noted that they adhered to the command to stay, but their eyes were constantly on her. In our lives there are times when the Lord would have us be still, but our eyes and ears should be focused on Him, ready to hear His next direction. “Be still and know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10. It is possible to hear God’s voice at any time in any situation, but sometimes it is necessary to be still, separate oneself from the cacophony of voices and situations that can overwhelm. In the stillness we learn to trust His unseen hand. Have I learnt to trust my Heavenly Father in the dark times, the silent times when I cannot see, or feel Him? He promised never to leave or forsake us, and God cannot, nor will not, deny His word. His promises cannot be broken, He is a covenant keeping God. His character stands true. When my unruly heart questions God’s goodness or ways, it is necessary to repent and bow my pitiful understanding before the omniscient One, who knows all things, is working them together for my good, (Romans 8:28) and loves me with His everlasting, unchanging love. Here is where I learn to trust and obey. Here is where His voice becomes clearer. Humility, not rebellion, is key.
Romans 8 encourages us, v 31 “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8: 35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?……No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord”. Can you say, like Paul, for I am persuaded….? Are you fully persuaded? Let go, and let God….trust Him to be who He says He is. Stop judging God by your circumstances. Seek……and you will find.
God can speak to us in many different ways. Learning to recognise His voice is a process. There are times when our emotions are so strong, we can mistake our will for His voice. God can speak to us through His creation, through an incident, an impression, disturbing our peace within, through a person, whether a Believer, or not. God can use anything, (Balaam’s ass!!!). He can speak through a living word in scripture. The devil attempted to persuade Jesus to follow him, (Matthew 4), quoting scripture, but Jesus always had His ear tuned to His Father’s voice and recognised the devil’s ploy. Satan thought by quoting scripture to Jesus that he could hoodwink Him to follow him. Jesus knew that scripture has to be a quickened word in order for it to be a proceeding word, a living and anointed word for our situations, otherwise it can be just a dead letter. Jesus said to satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ “. The Voice.
It is vital that we learn to listen and recognise the Voice in a climate where there are so many voices attempting to control our lives. Only what God says is true……not the media of television, radio, newspapers or government. Learn to fade out the other voices of half truths, unbalanced emotions, control and lies, as we focus on the Voice that will bring us home.
Let God have the last word!