Throughout the Bible we see God using something from nature or everyday life to teach a deep, spiritual truth and help us better understand God’s relationship with man. For example, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is referred to as a Rock, Shepherd, Light, Water and Bread. Oppressive and wicked people are likened to goats while believers are referred to as sheep who follow their Shepherd as He leads the way.
Using the analogy of the sheep, one of the fundamental distinctions Jesus makes between children of God and those that don’t know God is that the sheep of His pasture; those that belong to God, clearly hear the voice of their Shepherd and they follow Him (John 10:27). Their hearing the voice of the Shepherd has nothing to do with the fact that the only voice or sound around them is that of the Shepherd. Even though other people are talking, the birds, trees, wind, cars passing by and other things around them are making noise, they are able to block out every other voice and sound, listen to the voice of their Shepherd, and go in the direction He is pointing them to take. They do this based on the relationship they have with their Shepherd and the trust they have in Him that He won’t lead them on the wrong path, He won’t do anything to harm them.
The true test that we are saved, washed and sanctified in the blood of the Lamb is that we can hear our Father and our Lord when He speaks. Romans 8:14 tells us that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God”. You don’t need to be a prophet for God to speak to you; you simply need to be His child. As a father talks to his children, so our Heavenly Father wants to talk to all of His children. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things.’ There are so many things about our lives that we can’t figure out on our own, there are so many things we can’t see with our physical eyes which God wants to speak to us about. There are some remarkable secrets of success and the kingdom of God that our Father wants to disclose to us. God wants to discuss great and mighty things He wants to do in us and through us. The only way we can receive all this vital information is if we hear our Heavenly Father when He speaks.
God isn’t complex and complicated. He is very simple to reach and relate with. David communed with God while on his bed (Psalm 63:6). God wants to relate with us in the ordinary and simple things of life. He can have a chat with us while we are in the shower or when we are on the bus. He can engage us in a conversation as we lie on our beds, go jogging, or mop the floor. In the good times and bad times, God wants to tell us certain truths. Whether we are on the mountaintop or going through a dry, valley situation, God has a thing or two to tell us.
The problem is not with God speaking to us, it is with us hearing God when He speaks. God can be speaking to you but you can’t get what He is saying because your mind is clogged and distracted by so many things you are worried about. God may be speaking to you but the noise of that favourite TV series you can’t do without is preventing you from hearing what He has to say. God can be relaying a very important message to you which you need to urgently act on, but you can’t hear what He is saying because all your attention is on a business contract you are pursuing. The first step every child of God needs to take to hear their Father clearly is to eliminate distractions.
It’s such a wonderful thing to have our Father speak to us. Hearing God puts an end to labouring in vain, it can bring about a major breakthrough. This was what happened to Peter in Luke 5:5-6. Hearing God puts us steps ahead of our enemy (2 Kings 6:8-10). Your enemies can’t triumph over you or have the final say concerning your life and destiny if you are a person that hears God. God’s voice of protection prevents us from falling into traps that have been prepared for us. Hearing God also helps us to live a life of purpose. From the moment God spoke to Paul about what He wanted to do through him, Paul passionately and wholeheartedly threw himself into fulfilling His divine purpose (Acts 26:14-18). Hearing God strengthens and empowers us to press on and not give up notwithstanding the raging storm, challenge or trial we may be going through.
Without a shepherd, the sheep are confused, harassed and helpless. Without the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, leading and directing us, we will wander through life in circles, confused; not knowing what to do, which step to take. We will become easy prey for the enemy. May the Lord draw us closer to Him each day and may our ears be open each day to hear the words of life, words of hope and encouragement, words of wisdom and guidance, words of victory God is speaking to us.
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