He who has ears, let him hear.
One of the most common questions I hear Christians asking is this, “How will I know when God is speaking to me?” This is a logical question. We live in a very noisy world and it can be difficult to identify God’s voice in the midst of the cacophony of noises. Turn on some Christian radio or television stations and you will probably hear about, and see some of the strange practices that are taking place among Christians. There are those who chase after modern day 'prophets' hoping that they will receive revelation from these shepherds about what God is saying to them. Other spiritual teachers promote manmade rituals and formulas that they claim will guarantee clear communication from God. A word of caution here, you will find what you are looking for. Or to quote my pastor who teaches it a little more poetically, “Those who follow sheep, get poo-poo on their feet.” Instead follow the Shepherd. He talks to his sheep all the time concerning his redemptive purpose and his sheep know his voice.
The Bible is filled with examples of God speaking to ordinary people at different times, revealing his will to them. We know he spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; He spoke to Abraham, Moses and Joshua among many others on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Hebrews 1:1 indicates that after the fall, God spoke to his people through the prophets in the Old Testament, and has now spoken to New Testament believers through his Son, Jesus Christ. God is a God who still speaks to his people through the Holy Spirit and he is capable of doing so in any way he chooses. If we listen diligently to his Word, we too will soon discover that God’s voice is entwined all through scripture.
In Matthew 11:15, Jesus strongly admonishes a generation, where many had lost the art of listening to God and lacked spiritual understanding, to pay attention to what God was saying. There is urgency in the admonition, “He who has ears, let him hear.” This same urgent admonition is relevant to our generation. Sadly, many are distracted by all the sheep noises around them, while others have lost the art of listening. In the meantime, because of his love for us, God is urging us to listen to his Word. He is urging us to seek his wisdom in dealing with the indigestible chaos of our world.
Today, we have the privilege of seeking him afresh and hearing him speak even through this devotional. How can we hear God speak? We can hear God speak when we spend time reading his Word. It becomes a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). We can hear him speak when we pray under the guidance of his Spirit. His Spirit helps us distinguish his promptings (Ephesians 6:18). We can hear him speak when we worship him. Worship makes God bigger than anything we might face; worship ushers believers into his glorious presence (Exodus 25:22). And we can hear him speak when we deliberately seek to rest quietly in his presence; it is then that it becomes easier to distinguish his still small voice in the quietness of our hearts. Without God’s voice, we are left confused and disempowered. But the more we learn to detect God’s voice, we are emboldened and courageous because we are reminded he is in control.
What's going on in your life today? What' on your schedule and what voices are invading your space? Whom are you listening to? No matter how rushed or how busy you feel right now, take time to read his Word, pray, worship him and be still before him. Can you hear him now?
Loving God, thank you for your Word through which you speak to me, and to all believers. Remind us of the urgency of the present time in our lives, and give us wisdom to redeem this time through the work you have entrusted to us. Remind us again, that we are in the world but not of the world. Continue to guide us through the presence and power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.