Perhaps the greatest challenge of the spiritual life is to hear and obey God's voice. Jesus said that He could only do what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19) I just wonder what would a day be like if just once I listened and obeyed everything God wanted me to do for that day. Yet, that is exactly what Jesus challenges me to do. John 5:20 says; For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
The hindrance to Christian growth is not learning to listen to God's voice. So much of my Christian life when I thought I was listening to God's voice, it was really the deceivers voice I heard. I remember time and again when I had sinned I heard the voice that said; I knew you would do it. You will never learn will you? You are just never going to stop that sin. It seemed to me that God was speaking to me. But, God's word says There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1), so how could that have been God speaking those accusing statements to me?
Revelation 12:10 calls Satan the accuser of the brethren, who stands before the throne day and night accusing us. He is a cunning enemy as he seeks to deceive us. He not only accuses us that we are not what we are--God's beloved children, he also tries to makes us think that we are what we are not. Listening to the accusers voice is easy to do.
In John 10:27 Jesus says that My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. If you are struggling to know and obey God, the problem lies in the fact that you may not be hearing His voice. There are so many voices calling out to you every day. You hear your childrens voices, husbands voices, boss voice, pastors voice, best friends voice, teachers voice, volunteer voice; they each need something important from you. Then there are the voices of the world telling you what you need to be, how you need to look, what kind of car you need to drive, where you need to live and what kind of clothes you need to wear. All of these voices often drown out the voice that calls you by name. The One who loves you and wants to show you how to live in a fulfilling way here on earth.
The great prophet Elijah could not be deceived about God's voice. He may have been depressed, suicidal and depleted; but after God sent angels to minister to him, he came back to his spiritual senses and was able to listen to God once again. I Kings 18-19 records this amazing story of spiritual victory and defeat. Elijah, a great prophet of God called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel and exposed Jezebels prophets of Baal for the powerless demons they were. Chalk one up for Elijah a great day of spiritual victory. However, once Jezebel heard what Elijah had done, she threatened Elijah, and he ran for his life. He came to the desert and sat under a tree and asked God to kill him right then and there. God sent an angel to feed and direct him to Mount Horeb, the Mountain of the Lord. Once there, Elijah shows us he came back to his spiritual senses. God told him to wait in the mountain and he would come to speak to him. The Bible tells us that there was a great and powerful wind, but the Lord was not in the wind, then an earthquake, next fire And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. (I Kings 19:12b, 13)
Elijah knew God, he knew His voice, He knew God wouldn't speak to him in the powerful wind, the earthquake, or the fire. He knew that God's voice was the gentle whisper. Do you know what it means to hear God? When was the last time you heard His gentle whisper. It is easy to miss, if you don't have your spiritual sensitivity in check. Listen to God's voice to you today as you open His word. Let Him speak to you there.