The Voice of the Lord
Mentoring Manna: The Voice of the Lord
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
The Voice of the Lord: Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the sound (“voice”) of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” It is interesting to see that the “voice” of the Lord God walked in the garden. Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was related to His voice rather than according to commandments. In the Garden of Eden God gave only one command. Commandments are intended to establish boundaries. However, God’s voice is intended to direct our lives within those boundaries. Only as sin entered the picture did God give many more commands to define boundaries more clearly. The reason many commandments came is because men no longer listened to God’s voice. The voice of the Lord is to be the basis of our relationship with God each and every day. God will lead us with His voice. Jesus said of the relationship between the Shepherd and the sheep in John 10:3-5, “and the sheep hear his VOICE; and he calls them by name and leads then out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his VOICE. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” As we can see, the sheep have learned to follow the Shepherd’s VOICE. It is important to develop an ear to know the voice of our Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus. The voice is the expression of intimate relationship. If we were to answer the telephone and hear someone say, “How are you doing, honey?” and if it was a voice we didn’t recognize, we would not follow in the conversation. But if the message were given by the voice of our husband or wife who we recognize, we would respond without any further identification needed. We would know the person by virtue of his or her voice alone. The word of God is important, but the VOICE that is speaking is equally important. Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus during His wilderness temptation, but Jesus knew that it wasn’t the voice of His Heavenly Father. Scripture is important, but do you recognize the voice of the one speaking? Through God’s voice we can walk in the blessing of God. Deuteronomy 28 outlines the blessing and the curses. Whether or not we inherit the blessing or the curse is not only based on whether we keep God’s commandments but also whether or not we obey His voice: “All of these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the VOICE of the Lord your God” (verse 2) and, “if you do not obey the VOICE of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (verse 15). In Exodus 15:22-26 we find the account of when the children of Israel had gone three days journey into the wilderness and were in need of water. They came to water that was bitter. When the people began to complain, Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree. Moses threw the tree into the water and the waters were made sweet. I want to ask you, what does a tree have to do with making the water sweet? Nothing! There was nothing in the word of God to tell Moses what to do. Moses received this answer from God for their specific situation. It came out of relationship. Now listen to what God told Moses and the children of Israel in verse 26: “If you diligently heed the VOICE of the Lord your God and who what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all of His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” God promised the Israelites good health if they not only obeyed His commandments, but also gave heed to His VOICE. I believe we experience many health problems because we did not heed the voice of the Lord in our hearts that warned us about our eating or lifestyle habits. We ignore warning after warning giving in to the appetites of our flesh. The same can be true with the way we spend money and the debt we incur. This can apply to the relationships we develop in our life. Every situation in life can be blessed or cursed depending upon whether we will learn to listen for and heed the VOICE of the Lord.
Application: Are you cultivating an intimate walk with the Lord? Are you learning to KNOW the voice of the Lord? The only way you can learn to discern the voice of another person is to spend time with them. The same is true with God. It is not enough to just study the Scripture. We must develop a relationship with the Author of Scripture. In doing so, we will not follow the voice of a stranger even when they use the Word of God to deceive us. God gives us commandments to define the boundaries in which relationship with Him can be protected and blessed. However, within those boundaries we need to listen for His voice in every circumstance and situation in life. Cultivate a sensitive ear for the voice of the Good Shepherd by spending time with Him in continual communion and prayer.
Prayer: “Father, help me to know your voice. I determine not only to obey your commandments but also to give heed to your voice in every decision of life. Establish me according to Your word and lead me by Your voice. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
We love you!
Pastors Keith & Sheila
P.O. Box 260
Rusk, Texas 75785