this is the second part of what I found and would like to share with you about how GOD speaks to us and I hope and pray that it will help someone to hear GOD’s voice more and better.
Once we have become better at telling the difference between GOD or voices of the enemy speaking to us, which is an ongoing process and I recommend that we always ask GOD if this is from HIM (see also part 1 for this), we can then focus on the content of the messages we are receiving.
Once again, we will use the bible to gain a deeper insight into the topic.
What stands out firstly and foremost when we look for references about hearing from GOD in the bible, there are many places where it is emphasized that we will be blessed if we “hearken” unto the voice of THE LORD and obey it, and also, that we will be cursed if we don’t.
Many times does OUR FATHER tell us that.
And this condition, this rule has never changed no matter who was addressed and no matter what GOD’s message to them was about. HE always and through all times demanded and still demands us to not only listen, but also obey:
To hearken diligently, to give ear and to do what GOD says.
Here are some examples
Exodus 15: 26
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
This was when GOD told Moses to cast the tree into the pool of water so that the water would become drinkable, which he did and then it did.
Also, the consequences, GOD’s punishment for not listening and obeying HIS voice has been established very early in Leviticus:
Leviticus 26: 27 – 28
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Whereas the consequences of listening, the rewards, are also announced at a very early time:
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
Deuteronomy 7: 12-16
12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:
13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
Hearkening is the basis of curse for disobedience or blessing for obedience.
Obeying GOD’s voice leads us into HIS blessings, there are many more places in the Old Testament where this is emphasized.
GOD is setting the rules:
If you want to be my people, want to be “a kingdom of priests”, set on high above all nations, enjoy all the blessings – LISTEN TO MY VOICE.
If you fail to listen – I will bring curses and plagues upon you.
This is the one unvarying requirement throughout all dispensations:
obeying GOD’s voice.
Another example out of the book of Jeremiah:
22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Here we learn that it is not offerings or other things OUR FATHER is most interested in, but obeying HIS voice is HIS greatest request to us and that all the problems of Israel stemmed from not listening to HIM.
So since that is so important to HIM, let’s take a look at what HE means exactly with “hearkening”.
Inclining our ears, paying attention – as the more modern translations put it, or another translation calls it “followed the counsels and the stubbornness of their own evil hearts”.
That should make it perfectly clear what it exactly is that HE expects of us.
HE puts it in a parable for us, but the content is / remains the exact same throughout all this time:
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
So HE said they hear his voice.
HE did not say, they go to church or they read the bible (or the torah, which was the only bible there was at the time, for we all know that the new testament was only written after JESUS was crucified) – and some say HE may not have said it, because the scrolls of the Old Testament were not accessible to everyone at the time, but I invite you to read more into it and I also encourage you to pray about it and ask GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT yourself if this is true, but for me, there is much more to it than reading the bible.
In fact, reading the bible is only the beginning.
And this is also something which OUR FATHER wants us to do very often, but they are not the same things:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
This was for the law.
But how about during the dispensation of the gospel?
All we have now is JESUS’ teaching and his appeal to hear HIS voice and to follow HIM.
It is an invitation more than it is a commandment.
The commandments are still there and also the expectation of OUR FATHER to follow them.
At the same time, we have something more now:
we have a voice which speaks to us.
A voice we can and ought to recognize.
Like sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd.
Sheep will not follow anyone else when they are calling them.
It is PERSONAL.
Just like the metaphor with the phone call we have been using.
Do you have a circle of people, close friends or family, when you call or when they call, nobody will say their name, but all they will say is: “Hi, it’s me!”
That’s something only person close to us, someone we have a relationship with, someone who’s voice we know, can do.
Because when they say “it’s me!” we will know who “me” is, because we know their voice.
And if someone else wanted to pretend they are them, we wouldn’t fall for it.
Because we know their voice and most likely the voice of the person who is trying to fool us, we know as well, don’t we?
If you had one of your loved ones work on TV or on the radio, you would still hear their voice and know their voice and recognize it, but they would not necessarily speak to YOU personally, especially not when they would read the news, because these are for everybody.
In my understanding, it is the same with THE WORD OF GOD.
ALL of it is for EVERYBODY at all times.
And at the same time, there are personal messages for each and every single one of us every single day.
Not necessarily exactly the words of a verse in the bible.
But similar, similar in content and similar in the way they are spoken to us and often times, we can hear them BY reading the bible, by some words, when we read them, they will be amplified, AS IF they were spoken to us personally at this exact moment.
But this is not the only way we can hear GOD speak.
Like I said in the beginning, it is probably different from person to person how we hear GOD speak, because it is coming from the relationship we have with HIM.
So I would like to share some of the ways I personally hear GOD speak to me:
– through reading the bible as I said and then something stands out, sounds more emphasised, strikes me, touches me.
– through a person when they tell me something and I realise that they are completely right and that GOD wanted me to hear this (this can also be, but doesn’t have to be in church during the sermon for instance or through a hymn or a prayer or a question of a brother or a sister in church)
– sometimes I hear a voice, it is usually very similar to the voices of the speakers of my audio bibles I have on my devices, a male voice, speaking King James English
– may also be that a book of the bible comes to my mind, including a chapter or a verse – I like it when that happens, often, I don’t have a clue about what is there, but when I then look it up, it amazes me every time how suitable it is for what I am just dealing with or thinking about
– or it can be the still small voice which I can’t describe telling me to do or don’t do something or to go a certain way or to consider a certain idea
These are my ways of hearing from GOD – or some of them. Not just so that you would do it the way I do it or seek these ways, there is no wrong or right way in my opinion, these are to inspire you to compare with your own and I would love to hear about them.
In which ways and on which occasions do you hear GOD speak to you, my friend?
I hope and pray that this will inspire and bless you and that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you, that HE will shine HIS face upon you, and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.