Summary: Hearing God's voice is more than audible reception, but the ability to recognize it is the Father speaking.
We love to express ourselves and love to tell our side of the story! Is that not true? If it is not, then why is it so hard to keep from “jumping in” before others are done speaking or finished telling their stories? Probably, because we have all struggled with simply listening!
I came across a very unique story. It says, "Two men were walking along a crowded city sidewalk. Suddenly, one of the men remarked, "Listen to the lovely sound of that cricket," But the other man could not hear the sound of the cricket at all.
He asked his friend: "How can you hear the sound of a cricket amid the roar of the traffic and the sound of the people." The first man, who was a zoologist, had trained himself to hear the sounds of nature.
He didn’t explain to his friend in words how he could hear the sound of the cricket, so instead, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a half-dollar coin and dropped it onto the sidewalk. They both watched intently as a dozen people began to look for the coin as they heard it clanking amid the sounds of the traffic and the sounds of the city. He turned to his friend and said, "We hear ....what we listen for."
We hear what we listen for. What is it that catches our attention? What sounds, noises and movements capture our interests or perks up our ears and gains our full concentration?
I think this is what makes part of our Scripture passage so powerful. Yes, we can focus on the process of studying God’s word and saying our prayers, but we can also be as aware of our need for listening to God?
Our Listening involves more than just stopping to focus on the “audible.” Listening is a skill of mastering concentration. Just like as a Soldier learns to do with their Drill Sergeants in basic! They recognize their voice and know who to listen for!
Verse 27, speaks for itself when Jesus proclaimed, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me.” I want to believe that what Jesus means is that those who are truly children of God, don’t just “hear” his voice, but can also recognize that it is truly God the Father speaking.
What a wonderful blessing to have such a personal, loving, and intimate relationship with God that you can know that what you’re “hearing” is God is speaking to you.
The wonderful thing is knowing we have an open invitation to talk to God on an intimate level and realizing the many ways God chooses to speak to us.
We can’t “put God in a Box” and think he only speaks audibly or through miraculous signs such as the “burning Bush” with Moses. God speaks in all sorts of ways.
The more we listen the more we’ll become aware. The more we become aware the more we’ll see new dimensions to God’s loving communication to us.
Sometimes He speaks by an inner voice that is so “internally loud” it seems “outwardly audible.” Sometimes we can hear Him speaking through the voice of a stranger, a friend, the words of a song, a thought from a book, or a verse of Scripture.