Copyright © 2013 by Joseph Diop
We’ve come down to the number one, single-most, consequential factor in hearing the voice of God. Are you ready for this?
The single-most, consequential factor in hearing the voice of God is this: You have to WANT to hear it. You have to be WILLING to hear it. You must exercise your FREE WILL, and CHOOSE to hear from the Lord.
That’s it. Listen to this diagnosis by the Lord Jesus Christ, found in Matthew 13:15 (NKJV):
For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed, LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I shouldheal them.’
Jesus was aware that not everyone listened with their ears open to the him. He knew that most of the people in the crowd were radical draft dodgers, as far as the call of God was concerned. So, that’s why over and over and over again, Jesus punctuated his sermons with these telling words, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” No less than eight (8) times in the gospels, Jesus uses this expression. And an equal number of times, eight (8), Jesus uses it in the Book of Revelation. He uses it once after each of his messages to the seven churches, and once again in the very middle of Revelation 13, where he describes that very dreadful and terrifying entity called, the Beast, who “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16).
The point is that you have to have a heart for God to even care about what he has to say. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. An unwilling heart IS a deaf ear. It’s not that we don’t hear from God, but we won’t hear from God. (Won’t, as in, are not willing to). Actually, that’s not technically accurate. To tell the truth, God does speak to us all the time, and we certainly DO hear his voice. God is Almighty. When he wants be heard, no one can stop him. And even though we may not be willing to acknowledge him, we certainly do hear him.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
There is no hiding place from the word of God. He knows where you live. He ferrets out your thoughts. He pinpoints your motives. There’s no place in your human soul where you may take refuge from the mighty voice of God, when he wants to talk to you. The succeeding verse to that verse above says,
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13,NKJV)
This reminds me a true story from my youth. When I was just a young boy, I’d be sitting in front of the TV, watching whatever. And, at times my mother would call me, presumably to do something or other. She’d call and call, but I wouldn’t flinch. I keep right on watching whatever I was watching. I didn’t want to be disturbed. One day, my mother had had enough. Not knowing whether or not I really had problems with my ears, she marched me right down to the audiologist (that is, the “ear doctor”) for an examination. When the ear doctor took me back to the test booth to conduct the ear test, he said, “If you hear the beep of a tone, raise your hand. Even if you THINK you hear a tone, but are not sure, raise your hand. Well, that exam was a piece of cake. It was like a game to me. So, being but a youth, and being truly clueless to the ramifications, at the sound of every beep, I raised my hand. I raised my hand, and raised my hand, and raised my hand like a fool, until the test was over. Then came the verdict. And the condemnation was pronounced. The ear doctor came out and said, “Mom, get out the switch. That boy can hear a pin drop in the middle of the ocean.” Well, the jig was up. My cover was blown to smithereens. From then on, I either had to acknowledge my mother’s voice, or suffer the consequences.
So it is with many of you. But, God is calling you, one last time. And, you’re either going to have to acknowledge him, or suffer the consequences.
Today, we are going to let the echoing voices of the prophets of old give that timeless invitation to discipleship.
(Moses): I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live. (Deuteromony 30:19).
(Joshua): But if you don’t want to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Even if you choose the gods your ancestors served on the other side of the [ocean] or the gods of [the world’s ungodly people] in whose land you live… Joshua 24:15 (GOD”S WORD Translation, brackets mine)
(Elijah): Then Elijah talked to them. “How long are you going to waver between two opinions?” he asked the people. “If the Lord is God, follow him! But if [the god of material security] is God, then follow him!” (1Kings 18:21, The Living Bible, brackets mine)
(Isaiah): If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But, if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:19-20)
Finally, we are going to give the last word to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
(Jesus): Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man HEARS my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him and, he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
The fate of your soul is now in your hands. You have heard the call given from generations past to generations present. What is your answer? Stop. Think long and hard before you move away from this page without giving the appropriate response! There will never be an hour more filled with the grace of God than this moment. This day, God is calling for FINAL answers. Today, God is like the host of that popular game show, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” After the contestants finish mulling over all the alternative answers and selects one, then the host says, “IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?” Then, the contestants must finally take a stand on one choice forever. They must make up their mind. To let the buzzer sound without giving a response would be unthinkable. To let time pass, while doting endlessly over the choices, without making up their minds, would be ludicrous and humiliating. They don’t have all day. The clock is ticking. You don’t have all day. The clock is ticking. You only get one choice. You must make up your mind once and for all. If you say, “I’ll wait, and make my decision tomorrow,” then God says, “I’ll take that as a ‘NO !!!’” The scripture says,
In an acceptable time have I heard you. And, in a day of salvation have I helped you. Behold, NOW is the accepted time. Behold, NOW is the day of salvation. (2Corinthians 6:2; Isaiah 49:8)
Behold. Behold! BEHOLD! This is your hour — as that great evangelist Billy Graham would say — your “Hour of Decision.”
The scripture says,”He that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). I urge you now to acknowledge the voice of God. And if you are ready and willing to respond, pray the suggested prayer.
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open my heart and life now and receive you as Savior and Lord. Come in and take control of my life. Give me your Holy Spirit. Come and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen.
Did you pray that prayer? Then, on the solid-rock foundation of simple child-like faith, I now pronounce you a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Mark this date on your calendar. It’s the first day of your eternal life. Congratulations! And welcome to the family.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000
If you are already a Christian, but are in need of repentance and rededication, then pray this prayer,
Lord Jesus, please forgive me not serving you the way that I should. I open up my heart now, and give you full access and control. Have your way, Lord. Cleanse me from my all sin and idolatry. Fill me with your Holy Spirit again. Renew me, Lord. Make me the kind of person and servant I ought to be. Amen.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000