We have had a robust two months of a very educative study in our local Church with the theme; ‘Love, relationship, Christian Marriage, Sex and Parenting Style. On the heel of that study, this month we are looking at a related topic; ‘Hearing from God.’
I am going to reproduce here on Online Christian Fellowship one of the lessons I treated in the course of the studies.
What is to hear? One of the sense organs in a living organism of perceiving sound and having an understanding of what it means. When I speak to a friend and asked him, “do you hear me?” I am not asking him if he heard the sound of my voice; that I believe he did.
But what I am asking him is, “do you understand what I’m saying?”
So as believers, when we hear the phrase, “hearing from God,” we meant to say, ‘how do we hear when God speaks to us?’ ‘Do you understanding what God is talking to you about?’
Why do we need to ask this question? We do that knowing that God is Spirit, and we can only relate with him in that context; Spiritual.
A short story about an interview: This is not the first time I’m telling this story, as it was related to us in an online pastor’s platform some years past.
That, in the days of morse-code telecommunication service, a group of men went into a telecommunication office for the job of a morse-code operator. A young came to the office when almost everyone has come and were waiting at the reception hall.
They were there discussing and talking among themselves and all the other stuff job seekers always talk about in an interview board when this man came in.
All the time the sound of the morse-code was sending out a signal from the inner office and none paid attention to understand it was transmitting. The young man sat down for a while, then stood up and went into the inner office without speaking to any of the others.
He came out a moment later with the Director of the company who asked the others to leave that he had given the job to the young man. Expectedly, as the story goes, the others protested they have been long here waiting before this man came in and that none of them were invited into the office for the interview.
The Director informed them that the morse-code calling them to come in for the interview, and they were not hearing. How could they hope to be morse-code operators if they cannot hear the signal for the interview?
The bottom line of this story is; though they were all experienced morse-code operators, they were all distracted with their personal environment and could not understand when they were called in for what they were all waiting for.
How many of us are not hearing from God today? Isa. 59:1-7; Jer. 1: 4-10
God is still talking and calling believers today as he has been doing in time past, but rather, unfortunately, we are not hearing his voice or seemed not to care. Some of us have decided not to believe and started propagating that God is no more talking or do not even exist.
They look at certain calamities that have happened in society today and to their individual personality and have come to a conclusion that they do not believe that God is still alive. But I am telling you that God is still alive. (Isa. 59:1-7)
At other times we felt that the calling and lessons from the Bible are referring to somebody else. We do not personalize it to ourselves and answer the call that is sent to us.
Do we know, when God was talking to Jeremiah and we are reading that account, He may be talking to us and calling us out for His service?
Hindrances to hearing from God:
So, if God is still alive and still hearing us and ready to meet our every prayer and request, why are we not hearing from him? Like we were thought in school, communication is a dual-way system of talking to ourselves. If we have made a petition to God by way of prayer, it is accepted the norm that he hears us and responds. Here are some reasons why we may not be hearing from him when he answers us.
- Sin. The major reason why believers are no more hearing from God is most likely, we are still having little sin we indulge in our lives.
- Ignorance. Some people may be ignorance of understanding the voice of God. 1st Samuel 2: In this case, Samuel, as a child does not know how it was to hear from God. Though he works in the temple and doing all the cleaning and stuff, he does not know God enough to hear from him. The same way so many of us are in the church every Sunday but does not relate with God intimately to hear from Him.
- Not having a relationship with God: For anyone to hear from God we must relate to him in Spirit. It is not possible for one living in carnal life to understand the spiritual voice of God. We must be in the same wavelength as Him to understand the voice of God.
- Distraction. From the above story of the morse-code operators, we could be so engrossed in our daily life pursuits and the seemingly unending struggle of life to listen to the voice of God.
- We are looking at the Problem and not to the solution. We are overwhelmed with our situation that we fail to listen and look unto God.
- Being in a wrong place when God speaks and his word got soaked in by the influence of the place. (2Sam.11:1-4.)
- Disobedient: Disobedient could result in our not hearing from God. When we turned down the instruction of God to do a certain thing, we are preoccupied in finding a way to cover our misdeed that we may not become conscious of the voice of God. 1st Sam.15: 1-; 16:14. At a time when Kings were supposed to go to battle, David sat back at home to look upon Uriah’s wife. He made concerted effort to hide his misdeed that he failed to understand the ways of God when Prophet Nathan came to tell him of his activities.
- When we are hasty in taking a decision: When we prayed and could not get the patience to wait for God to answer us but rushed away to execute our plans and actions.
Characters that heard the voice of God:
The Bible is full of stories of people that God spoke to about His plan and what He expects them to do; some obeyed Him while others would not. Let us considered some example of those God spoke with.
- Adam. God was having a very harmonious relationship with Adam until after he (Adam) disobeyed God and started running away from Him. Gen. 3.
- Noah. Noah heard from God and obeyed Him by building the Ark according to the detailed specification of God.Gen.6,7.
- Abraham. He heard from God to leave his family and his kindred to a land that God would show him. He obeyed God, and walked with him, and become the father of a multitude of nations. The trend was followed by his Children. Gen. 12.
- Moses. Moses was born in the time of the Israelites captivity in the land of Egypt. He was forced out of Egypt by a divine circumstance. God later appeared to Him in the burning bush. Thus he walked with God clearly hearing from Him throughout their wilderness journey. Ex.3
- Samuel. Samuel was handed over to God by his mother and God spoke with him, and after an initial misunderstanding of God’s voice, became an outstanding God’s mouthpiece. 1st Sam. 3.
- The Prophets. These were the spokespeople of God to his people. He communicated His instruction, and commandment to them through the prophets.
- Isaiah. His case is quite peculiar in that while he has not yet had personal contact with God, Isaiah was still effectively passing out the instruction of God through the inspiration that he has from Him. His outstanding breakthrough came in the year that King Uzziah died. (Isaiah 6:1-6)
- Mary and Joseph: The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ came in a most dramatic fashion. God spoke to Mary and Joseph of the coming of a son who will become the savior of the world. (Luke 1:26-35)
- Saul/Paul. God spoke to him while he was still threatening fire and brimstone against the believers and the early church. His obedience and following the word of God brought the instructions of the word to faraway lands that were not then of the family of God; that by extension become the source of our salvation. (Act.9:1-16)
- John. He heard from the Angel of God by which he wrote the book of Revelation. (Rev.1:1-2;
- Our salvation came to us by hearing from God. (John 17: 20)
So What Shall We Do So That We Will Continue To Hear From God?
Joshua 1:8; Psm. 1:13.
Joshua called the children of Israel together when Moses died and instructed them in the word and the need to continue working with God. This will lead you to be hearing from God. In Psalm 1; 1-3, David gave us a key to continuing hearing from God. Like a tree that grows by the waterside that gets its nourishment from the component of the water, the one that abides in the God will be getting the nourishment directly from Him and will grow in the Spirit and be closer to Him.