From a very young age I remember my parents saying, “Dustin, we will speak to you in a normal tone of voice and we expect you to listen and obey, for when you get older and your submission transfers from us to God, His voice will be heard in the same way.” This, as I have learned, was not only wise but also full of truth. The practice of hearing and obeying the voice of the Lord is the greatest gift my parents have ever given me.
In 1 Kings 19:12b it reads, “and after the fire a still small voice.” In the margin of my Bible it says, “a delicate whispering voice.” This story of Elijah hiding on the mountain from Jezebel and God stopping by to visit him is such a classic. There’s wind, an earthquake, and fire but God was not in any of them, then in the noise, there is a still small voice, a whisper of great glory spoken intimately to Elijah from the Lord. We need to begin to practice and expect to hear from the Lord in this way. No show or loudspeaker, just a loving inward voice that carries absolute wisdom and instruction that leads us to a place of abundance and fulfillment; a voice that is to be heard and obeyed.
Before we can look at the act of obeying and the blessings that follow, we must understand the importance of hearing, for in hearing, the will of the speaker is revealed. Once the will is made manifest then the hearer can choose to fulfill or reject the will. This is why the Bible gives us confidence that we can hear His voice and that we should place high value on what we hear. (John 10:4; Mark 4:24) We must remember that the will of the Father, unlike man’s will, carries with it the inherent ability to accomplish and produce His desired result. Jesus is the predetermined, fulfilled and accomplished will of God. Jesus said in John 14:10, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” There should be no doubt in our minds concerning the will of God and its ability. Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” God’s will is clear and alive, ready to perform and accomplish in our lives.
The activator to God’s will working in us and producing its power is a heart of humility.
When we hear the Father speak giving us instruction or counsel and yet there is a delayed response or even a rejection to what is heard we are simply saying, “I don’t believe what you are asking me to do has my best interest in mind.” Or “If I do what you’re asking me to do, it won’t produce a result that is greater than what I could possibly envision.”
Let me ask you then, what is it that the Lord has been speaking to you to which you have not yet responded? Maybe it’s a step of faith in life or with your ministry or business. Maybe it’s something as simple as letting go of a certain type of food or drink. Whatever it is you always know it’s the Lord when you have that constant nudging on the inside that is politely asking you to step out or let it go. The goal for all of us is not to allow that nudging to go on for months and even years without action, but to respond as soon as we have full understanding of what it is the Lord is saying and asking us to do.
The reason I said that humility is the activator to the Father’s will is because humility is all about our confident trust in Him. If I trust that God truly has a future and a hope for me then the command given or a request of action spoken doesn’t produce fear or resistance, but a heart of expectation. I’m not saying that there will not be a battle of lining up your will with the Father’s, for even Jesus in the garden prayed, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” This fight and prayer of Jesus was one of consecration and dedication to the will of God. It declared that although there was a natural resistance to the will of God where salvation for all mankind would be procured, humility was in play and absolute trust reinforced. See, obedience is impossible without revelation of God’s love and His commitment to us. We can only obtain such a revelation through hearing, for from such comes wisdom, knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
Your promotion, or as the Bible calls it exaltation, comes from hearing and then humbling yourself to fully trust what you have heard by acting upon it. Jesus proved this out in His life as we see in Philippians 2:8-9 which reads, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name above every name.” What and how you hear plays a huge role in the outcome of your next season of life. Begin to listen attentively with intentions to comply with what is heard knowing God has never asked something of you that He has not already seen its adherence producing success in your life.