Once we pass the first hurdle that God still speaks today, we have a second hurdle looming. I️ believe God can speak…I️ just don’t hear Him speaking to me. Sound familiar? We hear other people talk about how God is speaking to them, and often wonder why we do not have the same experience. We wonder if our faith is weak. Our ears are dull.
Or… could it be…that we don’t want to listen?
I️ can remember when our oldest daughter was in middle school and chose band as her elective. She didn’t get to pick her instrument and to the detriment of our entire family, was told she would be a clarinetist. Now, you don’t just suddenly become musically gifted overnight unless you are a prodigy…and we certainly are no such thing in our household. You have to work at it. And unfortunately, a clarinet doesn’t sound some kind of wonderful from the get-go. There are squeaks and high-pitched sounds that make the dog (and humans) run and hide. We made our daughter practice in her room with her door closed for 2 years and to be honest with you, we were elated when she decided to give up her dream of becoming a musician when entering high school for one reason and one reason only…WE DIDN’T WANT TO LISTEN.
To clarify, we didn’t want to listen because the sound we heard was not pleasing to our ears. It was irritating and annoying and we did not like what we heard.
Funny thing…I️ often wonder if this is what I️ do to God? John 10:27 promises that “My sheep hear my voice, and I️ know them…” But do you know what it says next?
“…and they follow me.”
Learning to hear the voice of God will take some practice and endurance on our part. It may not be easy at first to recognize His voice (Read more “God, Is That You?“). In 1 Kings 19, Elijah describes it as a “still, small voice.” His voice can be faint and sound like a whisper. It may be that you feel compelled to do something, or take action. Maybe someone or something weighs heavy on your mind. It does take practice to hear the voice of God. Learning to listen and follow the voice of God is a process, not an overnight revelation. But, even with that being said, it is difficult to explain and certainly hard to understand from the outside looking in.
The voice of God will be intensely personal.
Hearing from God also requires some expectancy. We must expect to hear from God. In biblical times, a flock of sheep numbering near 100 would lie down for the night with up to 9 to 10 other flocks in a sheepfold. If you do the math, that’s nearly 1,000 sheep penned up together. One shepherd, called a porter, would stay behind at night and guard the entrance from danger. Each morning, the shepherd of each flock would come to the entrance and call their sheep. The sheep knew their shepherd’s voice, which when you think about it, is INCREDIBLE! They could discern the voice of their shepherd and would heed his call. And not only that…they would be ready and raring to go out to pasture. They were hungry! They were ready!
The sheep had a continual state of readiness.
The shepherd would spend time with the sheep collectively and individually. Also, he would have a specific call that was unique to one sheep as well as to the whole flock. However, unfortunately, often in our self-reliance we do not listen to God because we do not like what He has to say. His voice sounds like a bad clarinetist to our ears. He tells us to love our enemies. Pray for those who persecute us. Share our belongings. Surrender our rights. And so much more. If we are completely honest, we don’t want to hear. We certainly don’t want to follow.
Prayer: Lord, I️ repent today that so often I️ am afraid to hear your voice. I️ am afraid of what your call will require me to surrender. I️ often want to control my situation. My people. Circle of influence. And desires. Dear God, please help me to lay it all down. I️ believe God still speaks today. To you, I️ surrender all.