Recently, the Lord has been impressing upon my heart the matter of hearing His voice. What made me conscious of this was a passage in the Book of Acts 13:26-30: “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.”
God’s indictment on the Jews was that they could not and did not hear the voice of the prophets read to them every Sabbath. They listened to the words of the prophets but could not hear their voice. This made me think: Do we hear His voice? Does the church hear His voice?
Hebrews 1:1,2 clearly tells us that God speaks and has spoken: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son….” Most of us have no problem with this passage. We believe that God has spoken through, by and in His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. But the vital and crucial question is this: Do we hear His voice?
Perhaps we all need to re-evaluate our present situation in the Body of Christ. The superficiality, the commercialism, the apathy, and many other deplorable trademarks of today’s church, have made of God a Santa Claus ready to answer every prayer in line with our needs, wants and desires.
In the Book of Hebrews, we are also told by the Holy Spirit, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb. 3:7,8). The same verse is repeated in Hebrews 4:7: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” What do these passages convey? That God’s people may fall into a spiritual condition where they cannot hear His voice, whether it be through the prophets or through His Son. We may argue that this particular letter was written to Jewish believers and not to Christians. Then how do we explain chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation where the Lord addresses each church by saying, “He who has an ear let him hear …” And finally to the church in Laodicea He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in …” This clearly indicates a lack of hearing on the part of the whole church and the possibility of individuals the restoration of the ability to hear that voice if they repent.
I do not want to depress you by pressing this point. I am just trying to prove that this “hearing of His voice” is a running theme throughout the Scriptures and that it is this hearing that constitutes the difference between victorious overcomers and defeated Christians.
I will leave you with a portion of the Scriptures from the Gospel of John 5:24-29:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
Please remember: God, in His love, is still speaking to us. Let us hear His voice in His word.