For most of us, truly hearing what others are saying does not come easy. While others are giving their point of view and perspective, we are gathering our thoughts and preparing to drop our nuggets of wisdom the moment they take a breath. It’s as though we are saying, “I see your lips moving but my thoughts and opinion on the issue are more important and I cannot wait to share them.” No one likes being cut off or interrupted mid-sentence and yet we have all jumped the gun and began our discourse before we have truly heard what was being said. We inadvertently communicate that we do not value the words spoken by those with whom we are talking.
When it comes to communing with the Father I’m reminded of Adam and Eve in the garden at the time of their temptation and rebellion to God’s given will, which was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What stands out to me is Adam’s response to God’s voice. In Genesis 3:10 it reads, “So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” After the fall of man, even in his now sin nature, the Lord’s voice apparently was clear and present. Yet, because he had fallen from the glory he had been crowned with, fear and need became tangible and apparent like never before. Adam was no longer communicating with the Father on the same level. Adam was no longer speaking from faith nor was he hearing the words of truth as before; it had all become foreign and unrecognizable because he had become self-aware. The union that was once shared was now turned to animosity accompanied by destruction and shame.
The gospel of John reveals the new genesis of man with the entrance of the Word that became flesh dwelling among us revealing the reestablished glory of God, which is God’s ideal condition for man, full of grace and truth. This favor and restored excellence once seen and received, reintroduces man to the conversation of faith and absolute supply. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Notice that the reaction to hearing the Lord’s voice is not of retreating and hiding as Adam did, but of advancement, a drawing near, a leading as we hear His voice.
What I want you to see from this letter is that through Christ our ears have been opened to hear and to receive the fullness of life from the voice of the Father. What is important is that we give value to what is being spoken and listen patiently as the words of revelation are placed in our hearts. Mark 4:24 says, “Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.”
The weight that you give to what is being said either by the written Word or by the Spirit determines what is taken away from the conversation. Proverb 2:33 says, “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be at ease, without fear of evil.” Hearing the heavenly Father’s voice is crucial to our existence as it sets the level of our peace. The Lord said it to me this way, “Rest comes from hearing, but what you hear determines the amount and quality of rest.” The reason the Lord’s voice is so important in our lives is because with each word given comes our protection and direction. As stated previously, Jesus is the good shepherd and we are His sheep, and as we learn to anticipate His voice, His guidance will lead us beside pastures of tender grass and waters of rest. (Psalms 23:2) We must become masters of listening as we silence our inner voice, truly longing to hear the Father’s voice as it will silence the chaos of the world and bring a complete rest to our hearts.
One thing is for sure, when we feel down, inadequate, doubtful, or depressed it’s simply a sign that we have not given time to take advantage of our raised position in Christ and hear the Father’s voice—to dwell in His presence. Not with long drawn out discourse on our perspective and current position, but with joyful expectation of His revealed counsel. With this type of approach, rest is inevitable, confidence is restored and complete comfort, boldness and strength are given. Rest is not our reward for proving our position through works, but the result of hearing and receiving from the Father as we bask in His presence.