How well are your spiritual ears functioning? A sister, Emily, earnestly prayed asking the Lord to enable her to hear His voice more clearly. She set off that morning to take a friend shopping. Arriving at the destination, she parked in a disabled car space and displayed her mandatory, disabled badge on the dashboard of the car, then went off on her errand, believing she had fulfilled the car parking requirement for that facility. On her return, Emily was extremely annoyed to find a parking fine attached to her windscreen for incorrect parking. Her friend commiserated with her over the incident and eventually Emily began to consider what God was saying in the episode. Emily recalled that just as they had approached the parking bay, a thought had fleetingly passed through her mind that certain disabled car parking carried different restrictions, and in some cases you had to pay a parking fee, but it usually carried some form of concession. To Emily’s dismay she had dismissed the thought and did not read the notice board in the car park, believing her disabled badge was sufficient to grant her free parking, which was often the case in most car parks. She then went to read the notice board and discovered there was still a fee to pay for disabled drivers.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing to help us understand our error! Emily realised God had granted her request to hear His voice more clearly that morning. The fleeting thought she had dismissed earlier was the voice of God warning her! Listen to the whispers of Jesus! Our spiritual ears have to be trained to listen and recognise the voice of the Lord. If we do not listen, we will not hear. Emily’s experience was a learning curve to heed the thoughts that pass through our mind and identifying their origin.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me“, John 10:27. If I am not hearing the voice of God, could it be that I have not learned to listen? Could it be that I did not heed the last word He spoke to me?……..and I moved in a direction that my will dictated instead of His? Then problems arise and I get tied down with the consequences of my choice. I may wail in self pity and declare I did not know, but the truth is that I did not listen to the Lord. I did not consult Him and went my own way.
For all who are struggling with failure and wrong choice, take heart! We have a Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, who never stops calling us, saying: “Come unto me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, Matthew 11: 28-30.
Jesus is the answer to our restless hearts. He ever beckons and says, “I am here, come unto me”. My pattern is Jesus, not other men. Jesus was yoked to His Father, thus He only ever spoke the words His Father gave Him, thus His words were Spirit and life. His ears were tuned to His Father’s voice, not the whims, calls and demands of men. He only ever did the things His Father instructed Him to do. Because He was yoked to His Father, He never made a mistake. How do I become yoked to Him? In the same way that Jesus took on His Father’s yoke – He humbled himself and became obedient. Through the obedience His Father worked through Him. All Jesus did, He never did because He declared, “…But the Father who dwells in me, he does the works“, John 14:10. God, the Father, displayed His power through His Son who walked on water, raised the dead, healed the sick, performed mighty miracles only as His Father’s voice came to Him. God entrusted His Son because He knew His glory was in safe hands. Jesus gave all the credit for the miracles to His Father, in humility He never took the glory to himself.
In John 17 Jesus prayed for His disciples and for all those who would believe in Him – that’s us! John 17:21 “That they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us…”
This is the only way we can live this Christian life, by the power of Another living through me. Jesus is the “Another”. As we learn to listen for the Lord’s voice in direction, may it become a lifestyle as natural as breathing. Proverbs 3:6-7 “In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes”……..(just forget earthly wisdom and sense knowledge when you need God’s direction!)
Jesus, our Pattern Man, tuned His ears to His Father – He listened, heeded and obeyed! The more I obey, the clearer God’s voice becomes as I learn to recognise the Voice.