This past weekend, I took a group of ladies on a Listening Tour through Genesis, Exodus, 1 Samuel, Matthew, Luke, and John researching how God has spoken to individuals through the ages. We looked at Adam, Moses, Joseph, Samuel, Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph (Jesus' earthly father).
Every conversation we examined, God initiated. At the core of each conversation was the Person of Jesus Christ.
No matter the historical time frame, Old Testament, New Testament, each conversation was all about the glory of God, His Son, the radiance of God's glory (Hebrews 1:3).
The Red Thread, woven all throughout God's Word, His Story of Redemption, is Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
Our relationship with the Redeemer and our knowledge of His Word helps us recognize His voice.
In Genesis 3, Eve listened to the Deceiver's voice through the voice of the serpent. She allowed doubt to slither into and through her mind, and because of her disbelief, she acted in disobedience to God.
Moses heard the Redeemer's voice (the Angel of the LORD) coming from a burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. Acknowledging he was standing on holy ground, Moses listened, took off his sandals, talked with the Redeemer, believed, and then responded in obedience.
In John 10, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, says that His sheep know His voice. Sheep will not follow a stranger's voice. They only obey the voice of the one they trust.
Today, God speaks to His sheep, His people, through a spiritual hearing aid. His name? The Holy Spirit. After we receive the Redeemer, Jesus Christ's gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our spirit. We house the presence of God Almighty. We are His tabernacle and we are always on holy ground. We have access to His holy presence because of the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, but because we still live in the flesh, we still sin. So, we have to remove our sandals, our hinderances, our sin, consistently, to continue in holy conversation. As we grow in our salvation, we will sin less and less, becoming more and more like Jesus.
The Core of the conversation remains the same - God's glory, Jesus, the Son.
The Spirit's role is to mold us; to speak comfort, conviction, instruction; to teach, interpret, and guide us to obey the Word (voice) of God. He is transforming us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Lessons I've learned in listening to voice of the Holy Spirit have stretched and grown my faith in ways I never thought possible. I've learned the more I lean in, the clearer His voice becomes. The better my hearing is, the more obedient I become. The more obedient I am, the more joy I have in experiencing life to the full. (John 10:10)
So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
God initiated conversations all throughout His Word. Each time, He made His presence known, and as His presence was acknowledged, He dealt with the hinderances in the relationship first. Once the unbelief was removed, and God had their undivided attention, the conversation continued.
To enter into the already initiated conversation with our Redeemer, we must:
- Sense His holy presence.
- Confess any sin hindering the relationship.
- Repent of the sin revealed.
- Say, "Here I am, Lord. Speak to my heart."
- Obey what we hear.
The summer break provides many of us time to refresh and refine our spiritual listening skills. How are you going to spend your summer? He's waiting for you to lean in and listen well.