Today my oldest two sons tower over me, both of them nearly six feet tall. Every time I hug them and notice how my head plants firmly against their chests (instead of theirs against mine), I’m reminded how growth is an inevitable indicator of life and health.
The same is true for our spiritual lives. If we’re walking with Christ and our spiritual lives are healthy, we should expect to see growth and changes in perspective simply as a natural progression. Now, I see clearly that the best way to begin a study on hearing God is where I originally ended it.
Hearing Him starts with our commitment to humble obedience. We won’t do it perfectly—we can’t always obey flawlessly—but we must do it purposefully, with ears primed to hear and discern God’s voice.
We’re not likely to hear anything from God until we’ve abandoned our tug of war with Him, between our wills and His. We may struggle to detect one syllable of divine dialogue, much less receive any clarity in discerning what He means, until we’ve first opened the floodgates of surrender so He can start piping the volume through.
Drawing a clear connection between obedience and hearing God is a critical piece of discerning God’s will and His ways.
We’ll quell the resounding voice and conviction of God’s Spirit within us the more we ignore or disregard it. He will not long waste His words on those who aren’t postured to obey. The tender, submissive heart is the one sensitive enough to continually detect God’s leading and to pinpoint the strange, alternative voices of the enemy, fear, and ego that seek to lead us astray.
So I’ve gotta ask you a tough question: Do you intend to obey God, to obey His Word? Do you really want to do His will? Or have you already decided to follow your own way despite what God’s Spirit will say? Be honest. (He already knows your answer.) I’m challenging you to allow the Lord to soften your heart and to become vigilant in laying down your own ambitions, elevating His will above your own. It would be such a waste to engage in all this study together, if in the end, we keep allowing our stubborn old hearts to stand in the way of hearing from Him.
Please tell me you’re not going to do that.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
Psalms 25:14 KJV
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
John 7:17 KJV
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 KJV