In John 10:27. Jesus says, “The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” Amplified Bible
I’m trying to learn to listen to God. I’ve never heard His audible voice as some have (like the boy Samuel in the Bible). In Genesis, Jacob’s son Joseph heard God often in dreams. Not me, although I did have a dream once that I think was from God. And Paul in the New Testament heard God clearly in dreams and visions, circumstances, and God’s Word. He also heard God speak audibly. I believe I hear God most often by His bringing applicable scripture verses to mind when I pray or by His giving me fresh insights into His Word.
So sometimes the enemy shoots thoughts into my head like, “You don’t hear like ___ hears. Maybe you don’t hear God at all.” Last week when he started hissing those lies at me, I told myself, “Well, I don’t hear like that because I don’t have to do the same job they do.” A memory of a truth I learned years ago also came to mind:
In the physical world, containers come in all shapes and colors, but the shape and color don’t affect the amount the vessel will hold. If I pour a quart of water into a tall, slender blue bottle, it may look different from a quart of water poured into a short, wide red jar, but it’s still a quart of water. Likewise, when God’s Spirit speaks to us, we may hear differently because we’re individuals, but that doesn’t discount anything of what He says to us.
God wants to communicate with His children, the sheep of His pasture. He calls us to listen and obey. The test of whether I’m hearing Him isn’t whether I hear like someone else does, but rather whether what I hear lines up with the truth He’s already spoken in His written Word.
© Tricia Opitz Jan.-Dec. 2010