By GV Potter
The following post was written by a member of our fellowship.
As Christians, we must learn to listen to God’s voice. Isaiah 30:21 states, “Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’’’ There is a true and amazing event that was written about J.S. Holden, one of England’s finest preachers, during the early 1900’s. Holden had purchased a ticket on a ship bound for America, intending to speak at an important conference. However instead, Holden chose to stay home in order to care for his wife who had come into failing health. It seemed like Holden had missed a golden opportunity since he was in the prime of his preaching career. He tried not to think about what he had missed on the other side of the Atlantic. However, delay can often be a protective hand of our Heavenly Father, and this proved to be true for Holden. He had purchased his ticket to America on the new “unsinkable” Titanic!
There’s much literature and talk today about “self-help” programs, but God’s Word and guidance are seldom mentioned. We must understand that we don’t decide God’s plan for our lives…we discover it! God has a perfect plan for our lives if we are willing to discover it. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” (Jer. 29:11). Most of the time we don’t realize how He leads us; it’s only when we look back through our lives that we see His hand at work. Consider Paul when he wrote, “Whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come see you,” (Rom. 15:24). Paul never made it, and he ended up in prison instead! It was from there that he wrote four of the Epistles. Do you really believe God is directing your steps, or are you questioning, doubting and complaining?
When we begin listening to God’s voice, it begins as a genuine desire to hear from Him. The problem is that many of us don’t spend time with God in His Word or listen to the teaching of God’s Word. A lack of time in God’s Word means that we can’t hear what the Bible has to say and teach. One cannot hear what one has to say without spending time in their presence or being connected to them in some way. It’s no different with God and His Word. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by His Word” (Rom. 10:17). God is not found in stress, frustration or flopping down in front of the TV. He is not found by picking up your phone or turning on the computer. When you turn on something, or someone is grabbing your attention, you have to fight for your time with God so you can hear His voice.
So why is it important to listen to God’s voice? Proverbs 28:9 tells us, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Romans 1:28 also tells us, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” Ephesians 5:3-4 tells us that such things (filthiness, foolish talking, etc.) are not “fitting” for saints. Maybe the reason you haven’t heard God’s voice is found in John 8:47, “He who is of God hears God’s Word, therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” James, the half brother of Jesus, makes it clear in James 1:22 that we must, “Be doers of the Word, and not hears only.”
God lets us know that He listens to us. “Call upon Me and go pray to Me, and I will listen to you,” (Jer. 29:12). “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us,” (1 John. 5:14). The problem is Satan has duped us into believing we don’t hear God’s voice. Of course we can hear God’s voice. Jesus said we would! “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” (John 10:27). The Holy Spirit speaks to us through our minds and hearts, and even audibly. So when you follow God’s voice, life no longer consists of that which can be seen, felt or figured out. Instead, it entails walking by faith, trusting in Him, and learning to hear His voice.
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