by Pastor Tim Burt
In John 10:27 (NIV) we read the words of Jesus! “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” When speaking these words, Jesus made the direct correlation that we listen to His voice and that we follow what He says. I don’t care how much you want to know His voice, it won’t happen for you in the way God intended unless you’re willing to do what He says. That’s what following means to Jesus. Jesus isn’t interested in creating a spiritual experience for you. He’s interested in leading you to His place of blessing—green pastures, trust leading to peace in any circumstances, His meeting your needs, and transforming you into a person of purpose and influence! That’s what hearing His voice will do in your life. But hearing, following, and obeying are all connected together. Those that truly follow Him, become familiar with Him and His voice. Those that don’t, not so much!
Romans 8:12-13 NLT says, “So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.”
When God speaks to you, He almost always speaks to you through scripture. Someone emails you a video or joke that makes fun at someone else’s expense, or that crosses the line using profanity or sexual humor or that’s the latest gossip tearing someone down. If you were sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you might hear the Holy Spirit speak to your heart reminding you of the scripture, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV. Or He might speak to your spirit saying, “…encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) (God won’t give you the verse chapter and number. He’ll just speak through the scripture!)
This is the Lord’s voice and it comes to us softly and in the framework of scripture being spoken from the Holy Spirit, to your spirit. But, there will be other voices that say, Lighten up will you? It’s only a joke. Don’t be so serious. There is nothing wrong with a little humor. Everyone jokes about other people or sex, and let’s face it—swearing is mainstream.
Can you discern the character of these words speaking in you? Can you discern what aligns with God’s word and what seductively comes from Satan’s attempt at logic which might be more appealing to your mind and flesh? Satan is always trying to lead you astray. When God speaks to you it’s usually to correct your thinking and help you align your thinking with His will. Learning God’s word and then obeying and following it will help you becomes ever more familiar with God’s voice. And that is the only thing that will help you become more familiar with God’s voice speaking to your spirit. You can and need to learn to discern these voices and know God’s and follow His! And you can discern Satan’s words and reject them in Jesus name!
As Romans 8:14 says “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.“ When your heart is open to the truth, God will expose Satan and help strengthen your discernment. Obey God’s voice and make changes. They will result in a life transformation that will add immeasurable blessing to your life. This is the process of the words “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” becoming real to you in your life!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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