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Bible verses about Listening to God's Voice
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 7:23-24  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God commanded Israel, "Obey My voice." If we take that extremely literally, His voice would include only the Ten Commandments because He literally spoke only them in the hearing of all Israel. Nevertheless, "My voice" undoubtedly includes what He spoke privately to Moses, and thus what is contained within the terms given between Exodus 20 and 23.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 18)


 

John 5:37  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Who is Jesus addressing in this context? To whom does He refer as "You"? Verses 16 and 18 give the answer:

For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. . . . Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Jesus is not talking to or about mankind in general. Nor is He talking to His disciples, friends, and followers, though undoubtedly some of them are with Him. He is addressing a gathering of Jews, some of whom are trying to kill Him because He had called God His Father.

Throughout His discourse, Jesus is actually introducing and revealing God the Father to them. The Jews had not known God the Father previously. They and their forefathers knew Yahweh to some limited extent, but not God the Father. All of their dealings with God had been through the Logos, who became Jesus Christ. They had never seen the Father, and they had never heard His voice.

Notice that Jesus does not say, "No man has ever heard my Father's voice, nor ever will." Taking this verse at its face value, all it says is that the Jews had had no experience with the Father. If they would believe the Son's words, however, they could have a relationship with the Father (John 5:38; 8:19; 14:6-7,20-23; 16:27; 17:20-26).

Staff
The Voice of God


 

John 11:43  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus' command could read, "This way, Lazarus!" We can understand why, as Lazarus was still in his burial clothes and his face was covered. He was telling Lazarus to follow the sound of His voice. "This way, Lazarus! Come over here." So he walked from the tomb.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer


 

1 Corinthians 11:31-32  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Verse 31 teaches that God allows us the opportunity to exercise self-discipline and avoid His judgment by watching—searchingly examining ourselves, detecting our shortcomings, and recognizing our own condition. Yet, if we fail to exercise discipline, He will not. As in the example of Jonah, He is faithful and will complete His purpose (Philippians 1:6). If we fall short, He will discipline and chasten us because He does not want to see us destroyed. God's purpose—our salvation—does not change. Again, the only variable is how much we choose to suffer before He accomplishes His purpose. We choose whether we will be humble or be humbled.

In many cases, not necessarily all, we choose our trials. It is the same in any family. If one son is dutiful and obedient, and the other is rebellious, pushing the envelope at every opportunity, it would come as no surprise which son suffers the greater trials (or receives the most discipline) in both number and severity. Each child has a choice. We also have a choice—to exercise the discipline now, or to receive it from God at some time in the future.

So, how do we searchingly examine ourselves, detect our shortcomings, and recognize our own condition? How do we find the path we should be taking? God promises us in Proverbs 3:6, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." The Message, a paraphrase, renders this verse as, "Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track."

When we acknowledge His presence—which striving to pray always does—He shines His light on the decision or thought. Consciously including God in the process makes the right choice more obvious. It also makes the choice a conscious one of obeying or disobeying God, rather than relegating it to habit or impulse.

Too often, we are not exercising self-control because we are hiding from God's presence, just as Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3:8). We may hear that "still small voice" (I Kings 19:12), but we turn off our minds and just go with the flow, unresistingly following the dictates of our human nature, which has been under Satan's influence since our births.

This tendency makes striving to pray always, being in constant contact with God, the best way to accomplish effective self-examination. By communicating with God before every decision, even before every thought (II Corinthians 10:5), we invite God into the situation, putting the spotlight of truth on our thinking and motivations—human nature's worst nightmare.

With God's presence through His Holy Spirit, we are able to recognize our shame and our helplessness before God, helping to create a stronger awareness of sin that we cannot easily evade by rationalizing it. When face to face with the holy God, we cannot easily say that our sin is only a little thing. Nor can we use others as examples, saying, "They are doing it, so what is the big deal?" With God there, right in front of us, all our excuses fail.

Once we bring God into the picture, the right way is more obvious, removing the many excuses our human nature concocts to allow disobedience. Then, the stark choice of obedience or blatant rejection of God faces us. When this occurs, it is a good time to pray for the will and power to do the right thing (Philippians 2:13).

Pat Higgins
Praying Always (Part Five)


 

Hebrews 12:25-29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Listen! Hear Him! Believe what He says!

The author of Hebrews has presented us with the facts that Christ is greater than angels, greater than Moses and greater than Aaron; that the New Covenant is superior in every way to the Old Covenant. He addresses this presentation to Christians who stand, not before a physical mountain in the Sinai, but a spiritual Mount Zion in heaven. Nevertheless, we still have the potential to refuse to hear, even as our spiritual ancestors who had just come out of Egypt did not hear. Now, they knew—they knew—that it was the voice of God that they heard, and they refused to hear because they believed they could not endure what He commanded!

Do we see the parallel?

It is possible for Christians to cherish their own will—which they know to be diametrically opposed to the will and purpose of God—and to stick to their own desires, thus stifling the voice of the Almighty God Himself! And thus, we can wrench ourselves away from the voice because we feel uncomfortable going against our resolve.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 4)


 

 




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