Are you listening? How many times growing up have you heard that sentence? How many times have you asked that question?
A similar question has been on my mind for weeks, do we hear the voice of God? We know God speaks today, by His written word, the Bible. And as we study we understand He spoke in the Old Testament era. Abraham, Noah, Jonah, Hosea and many other patriarchs and prophets heard God’s voice. We read how He spoke through John the Baptist and then powerfully through Jesus and the disciples. Yes, we know He spoke in the book of Acts as in wonder and awe we read of His Spirit’s outpouring, and constant involvement in the up building of the church. But how does he speak to her now? I propose it is directly in relation to her listening.
Yesterday, as we sat to complete our Bible reading with my children-two of the three that were in the room at the time were not actively listening. As they somersaulted, squirmed, jumped, wrestled, and in general fidgeted I faithfully read God’s word. And then when I couldn’t take it anymore I insisted they take a posture of listening. I asked them to sit still and to reflect on what had been read. And as they changed their posture their ability to listen greatly improved. Our posture, positions us to hear from God.
Amazingly their ability to receive increased and I watched God touch both of their hearts with encouragement. Encouragement that was much needed for their peace of mind and further establishment in grace. Smiles and joy resumed in them, simply by hearing words of life from their older brother Jonah and God’s word.
Once we have heard God it is really disheartening to fall backward into a relationship of silence. It is not that at every turn you will hear His voice or encounter a directive from God like we read in the book of Acts, however when He is present His communication flows freely, like conversation at our table over a meal. Posture your heart and body to worship and expect God to meet with you! Consider the “holy expectancy” Richard Foster writes of below:
“A striking feature of worship in the Bible is that people gathered in what we could only call a “holy expectancy.” They believed they would actually hear the Kol Yahweh, the voice of God. When Moses went into the Tabernacle, he knew he was entering the presence of God. The same was true of the early Church. It was not surprising to them that the building in which they met shook with the power of God. It had happened before (Acts 2:2, 4:31). When some dropped dead and others were raised from the dead by the word of the Lord, the people knew that God was in their midst (Acts 5:1–11, 9:36–43, 20:7–10)”
Excerpt From: Richard J. Foster. “Celebration of Discipline.”
For your consideration:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. John 8:47a
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10: 27-28
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. Mark 4:24
A wonderful verse to pray:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5