It’s not that most of us don’t want to hear the voice of God; it’s that we don’t understand how God speaks, and what is expected of us when we hear His voice.
Today I want us to look at how God speaks and whom He speaks to.
The fear of the Lord.
This is the first qualifier for God’s counsel. Remember His voice is His heart, and therefore He makes sure that He reveals His heart to the one who has reverential fear of Him.
God has secrets, but when He reveals His secrets to us, He will hold us accountable for them.
The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT
If it’s revealed to us then we have to take responsibility for it. God will hold us accountable.
For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright. Proverbs 3:32 NKJV
NASB says… But He is intimate with the upright.
NLT says… But He offers His friendship to the godly.
Intimacy requires vulnerability on God’s part and this is why He reserves it for those who fear Him.
When we fear God we keep His commandments, and Jesus equates this to our loving Him and gives us a promise.
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them. John 14:21
It’s in the context of love that God reveals more of Himself to us.
He honors us by inviting us to search Him out.
Often, God doesn’t speak to us in a way that’s obvious. Sometimes, it requires discernment. It requires knowledge to be able to hear when He is speaking.
God hides His counsel so that He can honor us in our searching it out. It’s our invitation into kingship.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2
He doesn’t make it obvious because He has hidden honor for us in searching it out.
We see this in the New Testament when Jesus is speaking.
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowds in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. Matthew 13:34
And he taught them many things in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them). Mark 4:2AMP
He did not tell them anything without a parable. But privately he explained everything to His own disciples. Mark 4:34
Notice the difference when He is speaking to the crowds, He always spoke in parables. But when He is with His disciples, He expounds the parables to them so they can understand.
Even though parables are used to illustrate something more complex it wasn’t obvious to them.
Jesus spoke to them using this illustration, but they did not understand what He was saying. John 10:6
Spiritual truths are reserved for those who follow Him.
The disciples came to him and asked, “ Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “ Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Matthew 13:10-11
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even the little understanding they have will be taken away from them. Matthew 13:12
The secrets of the kingdom are for those who will hear, understand, and choose to apply those truths. God hides His voice for those who actually want to hear what He is saying and do what He says.
We want the secrets of the kingdom without the responsibility of obedience and it is not possible. If God knows He will speak to you and you will not obey, He won’t bother. He protects His counsel because if He gives it to us, then He will require from us the responsibility of stewarding what we hear.
More is added when we steward what we hear well.
Then he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [ and you will be given even greater ability to respond]- and more will be given to you besides. Mark 4:24 AMP
God will test us with a little to see what we will do with it. If we search out spiritual truths and make an effort to understand and apply what we are hearing. He adds more to us.
If you will not obey God in the little things, you will not obey Him in big things. We start by applying the small truths so that we can be entrusted with bigger truths.
He speaks to us in parables and waits to see if we will bother ourselves with understanding them. He then begins to speak in a way that is clear.
Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my father. John 16:25
Jesus is speaking to His disciples. Why? They can now be trusted with clarity because they have proven good stewardship even when it was hard to understand.
From servant to friend.
Jesus shows the difference between how God speaks to His servants and how He speaks to His friends.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servants does not know what his master is doing; But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my father I have made known to you. John 15:15
NLT says…Because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves…
We begin here, as servants because we have to learn obedience, but we don’t have to stop here.
Most of us want to be servants. We want God to tell us what to do and that’s it. We tell God, ” Tell me which job to take, tell me where to go.” We want a relationship of instructions, not that of friends. Friends tell each other secrets. Friends reveal their hearts to one another. Friends trust each other with weighty things.
God speaks of Moses and describes His relationship with him.
With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Numbers 12:8
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Exodus 33:11
God says with Moses I speak to as a friend, not with riddles, or parables, or dark sayings but clearly.
Clarity is reserved for those who are His friends.
God wants to speak to us, but we have to know how He speaks. And then, take the responsibility of being good stewards of His voice. If we do, we’ll hear Him more, and hear Him clearly. We will also be entrusted with the secrets of the His kingdom.