John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.”
The walk of the Christian is not based merely on information. It’s based on relationship. Communication. Time spent together. For instance you can read about driving a car, look at photo’s of cars, watch a movie about cars. But you will never have the same understanding as some one who has ACTUALLY driven a car!
We can go to church. We can sing about God. We can here wonderful sermon’s about God. We can read our Bible. And these are all excellent, valuable things. But until we actually encounter God personally we’re just knowing ABOUT God rather than KNOWING God.
And the way to know God rather than about God is by learning to listen to His voice and by practicing active listening.
How many of you have been to a prayer meeting where 65% of the time is spent talking (and gossiping), 10% is spent eating snacks, and the remaining 25% is spent praying? (Yes, I know all your hands are raised even if I can’t see them). How much time was spent listening? 0%.
I was twenty-one years old when I was taught that, yes, everyone can hear His voice. Previously I had assumed that hearing His voice meant hearing an audible voice. And since I’d never heard a deep, manly voice booming down at me from the sky I believed that I had never heard God speak to me.
What I learned was that God speaks in many different ways. And an audible voice is probably one of the rarest forms He chooses. He is also able to speak through other people, through His word, through dreams, mental pictures, circumstances, and many more ways. He’s quite creative. He is God.
Learning to hear His voice opens up a whole new world to live in! It becomes possible to receive specific direction or guidance for your life – and sometimes for the lives of others. It releases a conduit for knowing God in a way that second-hand information is unable to provide. You can receive conviction and encouragement in a way that isn’t really possible otherwise.
Even after learning this skill it’s important that we consistently practice ACTIVE LISTENING. And continue to be expectant that He will speak.
And that’s where I’m at right now. I’ve become neglectful of practicing active listening. Yes I love the Lord and have been continuing in other spiritual disciplines. But I’ve been missing out. I’m not going to miss out in this area any longer. It’s time to tune-up my ears again and spend time listening.
Will you join me in this?