There is no condemnation in not hearing God’s voice. Society – and often, even the church – discourage us from acknowledging his still, small voice. And yet, when you stop to think about it, you realize that the Bible has always revealed that conversation with our creator is what God himself intended. One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible is found in Genesis 3:9:
“But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”
God’s question is shown in its larger setting by including the previous verse with it:
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”
(Genesis 3:8-9, ESV)
This is God’s plan. To walk with you and talk with you.
Some will tell you, “Yes, but that was before the fall.”
Instead of listening to them, listen to Jesus. Jesus said, “No longer do I call you servants,… but I have called you friends.” (John 15:15, ESV)
Or, if you prefer, listen to the Apostle Paul: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.” (II Corinthians 5:18, ESV)
Do we live after the fall? Yes, but also after the reconciliation.
James puts it this way: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
So, why do we have so much trouble hearing God speak? Why does even the church, all too often, discourage us from believing we have heard God? Oh, there are crackpots! Miscreants! Deceivers! There are those who would say, “God told me to do this or that,” and they bring harm to others or their own self-destruction. There are false prophets! And, indeed, we are told by Jesus, James, John, Peter, and Paul that there will be many false prophets – not just a few.
Satan uses this fear against us: “Since we can hear the wrong voice, it’s safer to hear no voice at all.”
No. No, it’s not. To not hear God speak is the most dangerous path of all.
Because God loves you so much, the words that he speaks to you will be words of comfort, encouragement, wisdom, and strength. You will be the better for hearing him. And – this is wonderful – the people you come in contact with will also be the better for it. When you listen to God, and boldly accept his words to you, then you have a powerful and profound and lasting impact on the lives of those around you.
You are in a garden, filled with life, and God is calling out to you.
Don’t be afraid. The Lord is with you.
9 July, 2017
Books by Bob Young