One of the unusual phrases in the Bible is, “…he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15) You would think that, generally speaking, a person who has ears does in fact, hear. But spiritually, that is not the case. One can have ears, and never hear…not that their hearing is impaired, but because either they do not want to hear, or there is so much noise that they cannot hear. It is indeed a remarkable declaration, when the Lord addresses the church at Laodicea, that he says, “…If any man HEAR my voice…” (Rev. 3:20) The question then becomes, can we truly hear the voice of God? If I read my Bible aright, it declares that we can, and must, and then respond to what we hear.
Perhaps we need to begin by dealing with that which impedes hearing. Top on the list is the willingness to hear. Jesus said, “…if any man is willing to do His will, he shall KNOW…” (Jn. 7:17) Am I truly willing to hear, and to respond in obedient faith? Secondly, am I attentive, and waiting to hear? It was Habakkuk who said, “I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” (Hab. 2:1) Here is a man who is deliberately looking attentively, and expectantly, for the Lord to speak to him. His honesty is revealed by his willingness to be reproved by God, if that is the case. Thirdly, we need to realize that God speaks to us primarily by, “…the voice of His word.” (Ps. 103:20) There is absolutely no contradiction between God and His objective word…it is the expression of the Living Word. Fourthly, if we are to hear the voice of God, according to His word, we must come to grips with the ministry of the Spirit of God. Not only is He that blessed seal upon our hearts and in our souls, but He IS our Teacher (Jn. 14:26), the one who “…brings all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (v. 26) He is the Spirit of truth, who “testifies of Christ,” and, as the Lord Jesus said, “…He shall not speak of Himself: but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.” (Jn. 16:13) So, it is very clear that God speaks to us by the Spirit, and we can hear His voice if we are in a certain disposition of mind and heart. But why is it that we are not conscious of Him speaking at times, and not clear with regard to what He is saying?
Impressions to convictions…such was the case of Jeremiah in prison, when the Lord spoke to him concerning the purchase of a piece of land. When that which the Lord spoke to him came to pass, Jeremiah would write, “…then I KNEW that this was the word of the Lord.” (Jer. 32:8) God confirmed to Jeremiah His word. When Samuel was a very young boy in the temple, God spoke to him. Samuel did not realize that it was God’s voice. But as the voice continued to call him, Eli realized that the Lord was speaking to the boy. In other words, God would confirm “….His voice,” to Samuel by the repetition of the address, or of the word. Often, and in particular, in our modern day of noise, activity, and bustle, we do not recognize the “impressions, ” that “…still small voice.” It is neglected, because it is not identified. “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”(Is. 30:15)
Dear Lord, in our hearts, lead us beside “still waters,” and there speak to us. “Speak, and make us listen, Thou Guardian of our souls.”
“Speak Lord, in the stillness, while I wait on Thee. Hushed my heart to listen, in expectancy.”