Learning to Hear God When He Speaks
February 26, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #533.
The Old Testament shows again and again the disastrous result when Israel didn’t listen to God. Our lives are no different. It’s life and death to hear God.
(John) I always go back to the Hebrews, even in the last set of podcasts I went back to Hebrews 11:6, where it says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” But then the next part of that same verse is, “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
(Martha) There’s the answer right there. And to “diligently seek Him” is to listen.
(John) Well, you have to— Number one, you have to believe that He is good, that He is going to be the rewarder that He promises He is going to be. You have to believe His character is good. You have to believe that He is who He says He is.(Martha) Umhmm.
(John) Because if He’s not who He says He is, why would I believe Him?
(Martha) Umhmm. So that’s the first work, what you’ve given us.
(John) You have to believe that He’s good, and that He’s a rewarder. And then you have to believe that He’s faithful, that if you do seek Him, He will give you the answer.
(Martha) I was so alone in learning it so early that He speaks, that I can’t imagine people not believing He will speak. But you go to Him assuming that He will speak, because He spoke to Adam and Eve, a murderer, the snake, the sinner. He spoke to everything, everybody. He will speak.
(Martha) He’s the speaking God. His name is a self-revealing God. So, you’ve given the foundation. Ok, and the way you seek Him is to listen, to ask Him a question, and then wait for Him to answer.
(John) That’s the big work is to wait.
(John) Because everybody wants it now. “Give me the answer now. I don’t want to wait for You to tell me,” like your two weeks waiting for that one person.
(Martha) Umhmm. Ok, I’m writing about this. I’ve seen this over and over again in the Old Testament, and it always is so simple that it’s shocking. The reason that Israel completely failed was because they did not listen to God. It’s not complicated. It’s very clearly stated. The Lord writes, the Holy Spirit writes in several places, “When they ask you what happened, tell them Israel would not listen to Me.” The Old Testament is essentially a foundation about listening. The prophets were those who listened, and they told the people what they heard. And then God would convey it through their word. So it’s all about listening. And ok, if “The just shall live by faith,” then they have to live by listening to get the faith. But that goes against, completely goes against our inborn Adamic nature, because the problem in the garden was that they didn’t listen, John. It’s very simple. It’s so simple. God spoke very clearly. They understood.
(John) They were hearing.
(Martha) They were hearing, yes. He was walking with them and He said, “Don’t eat of this tree, everything else in this paradise, but not this one tree in the center of the garden.” (paraphrased)
(John) It wasn’t God’s fault. He was speaking.
(Martha) He was speaking. Absolutely. And Adam didn’t listen to God. First Eve didn’t listen to God. She listened to the serpent. And she didn’t take what the serpent said back to God and listen to God about what the serpent said. She went to Adam and talked to him, and Adam listened to Eve and didn’t go back to God and check out what Eve had said to see if that was right or not. So then they had children who don’t hear. And to not hear is to know what God wants and say no to it. So, we were born with a nature that is innately, primal-ly deaf to God. And so, it takes something radical to cause us to hear. The Holy Spirit comes, and He gives us His – unmistakably His – view. And that’s called repentance. And then you can begin to hear God and be born again. But it takes a radical interference from God to cause someone to even hear how He views things and how He sees you, and what He wants to give you. The problem I’ve known is if people don’t ask questions, you can know they’re not listening. If people don’t quote the Word, the scriptures, you can know they’re not listening. And it’s true every time. If there’s no question, there’s no answer. And if people think they know already who God is and what He wants and who they’re to be and how to do it, then there’s no hope. God has to create a need to hear, and a need of some kind that the only answer is to hear God. And so that’s what you can pray for somebody that always answers, “I know.” Or there’s something even worse than that. “I know, but I know more.”
(John) And, “I know better.”
(Martha) “I know better.” Oh, that is dangerous, because we have the propensity in our human nature, not my new nature, but in our old man, we have the propensity to make up the answer ourselves and be absolutely convinced that that is the answer. There has to remain, or there has to be a mystery to everything, that only God can answer. That’s what life is. Life is a complete mystery that only God can answer. And if we think it isn’t a mystery, then we are dead in the water, because we will not have faith. We will operate by logic.
(John) And pride.
(Martha) And pride, yes.
(John) And presumption, yeah. That’s it.
(Martha) So, to hear Him, though, is absolutely fascinating, because He’s usually going to give us something we would not apply, not dream of, not remember and not consider.
(John) The problem is, is that when you go off and you’re living like that, you’re missing the actual adventure. And it’s such an amazing adventure. It’s a joy, it makes life filled with wonder when you’re literally living dependent and inquiring, you know? That whole train of thought, like living like a child. It’s beautiful, and then you’re able to discover and find great, great, wonderful, exciting adventures with Him. And when I go in stiff and staid and rigid, thinking I know, I rob myself of joy. I rob myself of relationship. I rob myself of the wonder. You know, but it’s the pride, the pride that would say that I could do it. And the child is not in pride. The child goes literally in wonder.
(Martha) And the wonderful thing is He’ll reduce us to the child if we have any cooperation with Him at all, because it takes a child. You know why? Because to hear God, you have to live in bewilderment. A child lives in happy bewilderment.
(John) And bewilderment to someone who’s in control, is totally unacceptable, and it’s frightening, and it’s dreadful.
(Martha) But that’s to the adult. It is dreadful to the adult that must have control. It’s only really all about control, isn’t it?
(John) Yeah, absolutely.
(Martha) That was really the temptation of the serpent. “You be in control by your knowledge.”
(John) “You control your circumstances, you control God and you control man.”
(Martha) “By your thinking.” And then Satan gives you the thoughts that encourages you to do that, to give up control and listen. I want to lay out a clear path. Can we go back and lay out a clear path?
(Martha) You said it with the scripture, “Those who come to God must believe that He exists, and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
(John) Which means He’s good, because You’re a rewarder, You’re good.
(Martha) Right, right. Ok. So that’s the first thing. And then, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (spoken) Word of God.” So…
(John) Because you’ve diligently sought Him, He rewards you with the Word.
(Martha) Right. And to seek Him sometimes is to just be quiet and wait. That is seeking Him. That is a wonderful way of seeking Him. It’s just being given situations. It’s wonderful you put in the context of an adventure, John. It’s absolutely an adventure, because unless you hear Him, you’re not living a life outside of any human nature. Unless you commit your life to listening… We are to live by listening. Everything is a question to which I have no answer. And God sets it up that way hoping we will seek Him, so He can reward us for seeking Him. And He can share His brilliant mind with us, and we fall in love with Him. That’s kind of the cycle. Then we have a promise that we believe and wait for, because we know that it’s done. It exists. That’s what faith is – a gift, John. Faith is given to you as a gift. It is placed in you. It’s not something you work up. It’s something you work to receive. You bow and listen and still yourself and quiet yourself and get out of yourself. So, faith is really a gift from His voice. It’s terribly exciting.
(John) Faith makes me dependent and reliant on Him for relationship. And that’s why it pleases Him, because you’re totally, completely dependent upon Him to speak and to show and to share and to lead you.
(Martha) And we are called His children. And what are children? Dependent. His Father heart is so unfathomable and so huge. He wants children that He can delight in and that delight in Him. And to think things through and to reason things out is adult, and it doesn’t work.
Learning to Hear God When He Speaks – Episode #534 – Shulamite Podcast
“Life is a complete mystery that only God can answer.” The Old Testament shows again and again the disastrous result when Israel didn’t listen to God. Our lives today are no different. It is life and death to hear God and to listen to what He says.