I am convinced that we are too easily distracted in the rush of this modern world. We live in.
There are so many choices. There are so many distractions all demanding our time and our attention.
Sadly it seems that we only hear what we want to hear and we often completely tune out the voice of our Lord.
We do not take time to hear His voice. Maybe we do not really have as trusting a relationship with Jesus as we may think we have.
How much time do you set aside for the one you call your Savior? How much time do you spend with the one you call Lord?
Do you hear his voice? Are you really tuned in to hear his voice?
The following story may help explain what I am, trying to say:
"Two men were walking along a crowded city sidewalk. Suddenly, one of the men remarked: "Listen to the lovely sound of that cricket."
But the other man could not hear the sound of the cricket at all.
He asked his friend: "How can you hear the sound of a cricket ... amid the roar of the traffic and the sounds of the city."
The first man, who was a zoologist, had trained himself to hear the sounds of nature.
He didn’t explain to his friend how he could hear the sound of the cricket, instead, he reached into his pocket, ....pulled out a half-dollar coin, dropped it onto the sidewalk, and watched intently as a dozen people began to look for the coin as they heard it clanking amid the sounds of the traffic and the sounds of the city.
He turned to his friend and said, "We hear what we listen for."
Beloved, we hear what we listen for.
Are you tuned in to the voice of Jesus? Do you really seek His voice? What are you listing for?
We hear what we want to hear. Knowingly or unknowingly we all make choices of who we are listing too.
This Gospel reading is a promise to those who call themselves followers of the Christ.
This Scripture is a truth, it is a wonderful promise. My sheep hear my voice!
It does not say we could hear his voice or we should hear his voice or we might hear his voice.
The Scripture is Crystal Clear: My Sheep, My Sheep! Hear My Voice.
I know this will sound strong but maybe it needs to be said: "If you are not hearing his voice then you are probably not walking in his will."
"So what is God’s will for each of us?" How can I know his will? What does it mean when we say that: "We want to know the will of God?"
To know his will is to say... we want to discern, we want to understand, we want to know His plan for our life.
We want His guidance in our decisions so we can make wise choices. Knowing the voice of God results in finding the will of God.
You can be assured that God wants you to know His will.
The Scriptures tell us: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’(Matthew 4:4)
The Greek word for "proceeds" speaks of a continuing function.
It means something that happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will continue to take place in the future.
Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So, it is imperative that we know the voice of God.
We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
There are two Greek terms translated "word" in the Scriptures. The two Greek words are "logos" and "rhema".
Logos is has been described as the general word of God.
Through reading and hearing the Scriptures you can receive all the knowledge you need concerning God and his promises; but just through reading you do not necessarily receive faith.
You will receive knowledge and understanding about God, but you do not necessarily receive faith.
Paul shares this truth with us in Romans when he states: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:7.
In this passage the Greek term for Word is not logos, but Rhema.
Faith specifically comes by hearing the Rhema of God.
Logos has been defined as "the written or said word of God," and Rhema as "the saying, the action word of God."
That is God giving, a specific word to a specific person for a specific situation.
Faith comes hearing and hearing by the Rehma of God.
And the writer of Hebrews shares this truth (Hebrews 11:6) "Without faith it is impossible to please Him."
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word, the Rehma of God. And without Rehma it is impossible to please Him.
Peter never walked on the water because of logos, because of a general knowledge of God.
Peter required that Christ give him a specific word: Peter asked, "Lord if you are the Lord, command me to come." And Jesus replied, Jesus said, "Come."
The word Christ gave to Peter was Rhema. The word Christ gave to Peter brought forth faith.
Peter walked on the water because he had received Rhema.
Beloved through the Scriptures you can and will grow in your knowledge of God. The Scriptures are powerful. They are food for our soul. In Fact: Paul shares with Timothy that:"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Scriptures are paramount in our walk. We are called to read and inwardly digest the Scriptures.
You may listen to the word of God and you may study the Scriptures, but only when the Holy Spirit comes and quickens stirs the Scriptures to your heart will logos become Rhema.
If you are not meditating on God’s word. If you never have time to wait upon the Lord then how can the Lord come and quicken His Word to your heart?
Jesus is the Word made Flesh. Jesus encompasses both Logos and Rhema. He is the Word. He is the perfect all encompassing Word of God.
The words you hear and all of your desires should be carefully screened and weighed against the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the word of God. Rhema from God will never contradict the Scriptures.
So how will you hear his voice? This is truly a busy age.
Many, far too many of those that call themselves followers of the Christ do not set aside time to listen to Him to listen for His voice.
And if we are honest we often do not take time to listen to each other. To truly listen to those that God has placed in our lives. We must take time to listen!!!
We need to slow down, to calm ourselves and listen to our Lord and listen to those that God puts into our lives. Listen prayerfully, when you read the Scriptures. Listen prayerfully when you hear a teaching or a sermon .Then wait! Wait upon the Lord to receive Rehma.
Why do some not believe? Why do some not hear the voice of God? The scriptures today speaks to that: "You do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep." "My sheep hear my voice." I give them eternal life and they will never parish."
Clearly to hear his voice we must be of his sheep. We must accept the gift of eternal life that is found only in Christ Jesus.
"Confess with your mouth, Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. And you will receive Salvation." Romans 10:9
If Jesus is truly your Lord then why wouldn’t you spend time with him?
We must redeem the time. We must prioritize our life.
Find time to sit quietly before the Lord put your life in neutral gear, calm your heart.
Wait upon the Lord, say silently or aloud "Lord I’m here. Lord...I want to hear your voice. I yearn to know your will."
When I sit quietly and calm myself in his presence and often begin with the words "I love you" or I thank him for what he has done for me. Then wait peacefully and listen for his words to me.
Fasting is another spiritual instrument that God gives us in order to be drawn deeper into his presence.
Fasting seems to bring me closer to God and heighten our time together. With each hunger pain I pray and seek his will.
Weather in a Fast or in prayer, you need to set aside a time, a quiet time, when you can be calm and truly listen to the one you call Lord.
There is a story about a man was having difficulty communicating with his wife and concluded that she was becoming hard of hearing.
So he decided to conduct a test without her knowing about it. One evening he sat in a chair on the far side of the room. Her back was to him and she could not see him.
Very quietly he whispered, "Can you hear me?" There was no response.
Moving a little closer, he asked again, "Can you hear me now?" Still no reply; quietly he edged closer and whispered the same words, but still no answer. Finally, he moved right in behind her chair and said, "Can you hear me now?" To his surprise and chagrin, she responded with irritation in her voice, "For the fourth time, yes!"
The hearing problem is not with God, It is with us!
It is time to move forward in the Faith to submit every aspect of our lives to our Lord and Savior. We hear what we listen for.
Slow yourself down, calm your heart. Wait upon the Lord.
And if you do Beloved, you will hear his voice.
Amen and Amen!