My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.
Hearing from God can seem like an abstract concept. After all, we’re talking about listening to the voice of the supernatural Creator of everything, ever.
But here’s the thing. If you follow Jesus, then you’ve heard His voice. You might just not have known it.
Have you ever had that feeling of, “Oh, I shouldn’t have made that joke” or “I should go and say hello to that person and help them”? That’s God giving you direction.
Have you had the urge to be spontaneously generous? That’s the Holy Spirit at work inside you.
Right-living, showing love, and generosity are in alignment with God’s word, and He will prompt you to do these things. It might not be in plain-English, but doesn’t it seem a little naïve or even egotistical to think that God, the originator of all language, emotion, and creativity would speak to us using solely our limited, spoken vocabulary? This might be audacious, but I don’t think American-English is God’s first method of communication.
When you feel these prompts, that is God speaking to you.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching AND FOLLOWS IT is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”
Don’t ignore the prompt. We are called to action.
Now, let’s take it a step further. Have you ever heard someone say that God told them something very specific? Maybe they had an encouraging word for someone or had a special call to action.
This is a result of John 10:27 and Matthew 13:12.
In order to truly know God, to know the voice of Jesus, we need to spend time with Him, to get to know him. We need to consistently be in God’s presence and actively listening. The second part of Matthew 13:12 sticks out to me,
“…those who are not listening…”
This is an active, present tense.
It’s possible to be in someone’s proximity and not be listening. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, gotten distracted, and then realized you have no idea what that person just said? I know I have. I’ll go on record saying I think doing this to God is a bad idea. But I know at times I do that too.
We need to actively listen to God. Put aside the distractions and actually listen. We need to learn the sound of His voice. And this won’t be accomplished by attending church once a week and spending an hour on Wednesdays at a men’s group. (Although those are very good things!)
If I only spent 2 hours a week hanging out with my wife, our relationship would not be nearly as deep and connected as it should be.
If we are to truly develop a deep relationship with God, one where communication is easy and flowing, it takes time, consistency, and attentiveness. God is always listening and available. The question is, are we?