After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” – John 10:4 – 5, NLT
One of the most intense struggles in the cultivation of a relationship with God is learning and knowing His Voice. At some point in their walk with God, every believer struggles with this. When you read the above verses and the contextual verses that go with it in this chapter, it becomes apparent that knowing God’s Voice is a critically essential ingredient for confidently and victoriously walking with God. Knowing God’s Voice is also very important to God since He uses the illustration and its language in Scripture to present it to us. But the reality is that the clarity of God’s Voice in and to our lives is often very elusive. So the enigma is intensified because God meant it to be extremely inclusive in our lives. What do we do? For a brief moment, I would like to share with you a revelation God gave me this week about this through a series of experiences I had with Him.
I needed to get a particular task done. However, there were many approaches that I could take to complete it. The dilemma was in trying to figure out, what would be the best way to do it. The obligation was not earth-shattering, but it was something that needed to be addressed. As I began to ponder the option, God’s Voice clearly spoke to me and directed me to a particular option. His direction was not anything elaborate, actually rather simple. I decided to follow His direction. And guess what? God’s direction – that which I heard – turned out to be the best way to do what I needed to do. Not only did I marvel at the Wisdom of God, but also at the fact that He spoke to me, clearly and in a situation that was routine. I thanked Him for His involvement and had great joy for the rest of the day basking in the glow of the beauty of the exchange that had taken place between us.
A few days later I misplaced an item and could not find it. It was something that I needed. So I began to diligently search for it. After a few minutes of intensely searching, I could not find this item. I began to get annoyed and perplexed about it. And then I heard God say, “It’s in this location.” I reasoned within myself that it couldn’t be there and that He had not spoken. I decided not to follow His insight, but to continue the futility of my efforts. After some time and energy wasted, I retraced my steps. And in so doing, found what I was looking for exactly where He had said it was before. I didn’t find it because I listened to Him; I found it accidently. I was upset afterwards for a while because although I did find it, I did not find it because I honored, respected and heeded His Voice the first time.
A day or so later, the Holy Spirit led me down an inward path of reflection of these two events. And then He spoke to me this revelation. He said, ‘Many people struggle with hearing my Voice because they don’t build consistency in hearing and heeding when I speak to them in the routine, seemingly insignificant and basic eventualities of life – the things that seem to be of small matters. He continued, “However, when you learn to hear and heed My Voice consistently in the seemingly small matters, you develop the skill of knowing my Voice, not only in the small matters but also in the large matters as well.” I was blown away!!! Through this, I came to realize how God takes us from the elusiveness of His Voice in our lives to its inclusiveness in our lives – through our consistently hearing and heeding Him in everything regardless of its perceived importance.
So if you want to move from a place of God’s Voice being elusive to a place where it is inclusive, the development of the skill of hearing and heeding His Voice is absolutely imperative. That development is accomplished through Prayer, Reading and Studying the entirety of God’s Word and Application – obediently putting into practice everything you learn about God through His Word, and subsequently acting on the things you hear Him say. Slowly but surely you’ll discover you’re not struggling as much with hearing His Voice – His Voice in your life will become less and less elusive and more and more elusive.
One final note, God never says anything inconsistent with His Word. Therefore, get to know the Word and get to know it well.