Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.Revelation 3:20
In our busy lives, are we able to recognize the voice of Jesus or even His presence? Even after being saved from sin through His blood, if we do not hear His voice or feel His presence, then it is time to examine ourselves. Maybe we are expecting Him in a different form but He would have visited us many a time, leaving the ninety-nine aside. Psalm 34:18 says that God is near us when our heart is broken.
A story of a rail engine driver may explain our state of mind to some extent. Every day when the train crossed a particular village, a little girl used to wave her hand with great joy, looking at the engine driver. She never missed a day and she waited there for the train to pass by, even if it missed it’s scheduled time. Touched by her gesture, one day the engine driver visited her with lots of chocolates and toys. To his surprise, that little girl got frightened by seeing a stranger, she screamed and ran away.
People were eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come, but when He humbled Himself and came in the form of an ordinary man, they could not recognize Him. We too may expect to see Him with all His glory but never want to invite Him personally as our Savior.
We want to wave our hands towards heaven assuming that He is there and may be adoring Him, may be singing Hymns and Lyrics, may be offering Him our prayers and may be cheerfully giving the tithes and offering to the Church. Above all these gestures, are we willing to have Him personally with us in our daily walk of life, ready to be controlled by Him?
If we say that we never heard His voice, it may be because of our hearts which are filled with unwanted things, that had entered through our five senses. Amidst this pandemonium, we may be unable to hear Him. Our Lord is a gentle person, who will never make an entry through our emotions and momentary feelings. He will wait at the door step of our life, till we open it with a clear mind.
Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.John 10:1-2
Many believers struggles to understand how God speaks to people. Many wait for a voice, wondering that, in what language and through which medium God is going to speak with them. Surprisingly, we never face this issue when devil talks to us. We never hear the devil speak to us in any specific language, but still we obey without giving a second thought.
As our heart is filled with all sorts of evil desires, it is synchronized with that of devil. Likewise, if we have Jesus and His words in our heart, it will be easy for us to hear and obey His voice, as we will be in line with His thinking.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.1 Corinthians 2:11
1 Corinthians 12:3 and 1 John 4:2 say that the Spirit of God helps us to recognize Christ Jesus. We may recall the government officials hiring Judas Iscariot to identify the Messiah, as they were unable to recognize Jesus on their own, as they did not have the Spirit of God.
Whereas the ten lepers who were staying away from their village, were able to recognize Jesus in a remote place. If the Spirit of God intends to introduce Jesus, nothing can stop us from recognizing His voice.
Somehow, we are more familiar with the presence of ghosts rather than the presence of Jesus. When Jesus walked on the lake water, the disciples were frightened and they thought it was a ghost. It is easy for anyone of us to believe the existence of ghost in an old dilapidated house, rather than accepting the presence of the Holy Ghost in our midst or in our body.
When God did not answer Saul, he sought the help of a witch, to awaken the spirit of Samuel from the dead. When God is not answering our prayers, are we in a pursuit of other mediums? Are we running to fortune tellers to know our destiny? We have to learn to trust Him, even when our prayers are not answered.
Not only Saul, even the Pharisees during the time of Jesus, believed in the power of the prince of demon, Beelzebul more than the power of God, demonstrated by Jesus.
We do not like to keep Jesus close to us and we keep running from His presence always. The presence of God available through Paul to the people of Thyatira, costed them a considerable amount of monetary loss, so they became furious and jailed Paul and Silas. Do we have any fear of losing our unaccounted monetary gains at the cost of inviting Jesus?
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.Titus 1:16
Moses was reluctant to accept the offer, when he was called by God citing his inability to speak as a reason. God told Moses that He was the one who had created him like that and assured healing and further help in all respects. Moses was unable to discern God’s voice and was adamant in his stand. When we are reluctant to listen to Him, we too may miss so many promises of God.
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”Exodus 4:10-13
Some people tell the enthusiastic believers that so much enthusiasm will fetch trouble and tell them to remain as a Sunday devotee rather than a 24×7 follower of Jesus.
People in the region of Gadarenes, when they witnessed miraculous deliverance of a demon-possessed man at the cost of the lives of large herd of pigs, they felt comfortable with what they were and asked Jesus to leave their region. Are we comfortable with our Sunday righteousness or are we longing to walk with Jesus all the time?
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1
Mistaking Jesus for a ghost is less dangerous than mistaking the evil one for God. Eliphaz, a friend of Job was filled with jealousy when he saw Job’s life. When Job was tested, he took an opportunity to unload his frustration on Job.
Before he came to Job, the devil appeared to him and taught him how to discourage Job (Job 4:13-19). Eliphaz mistook the devil for God and boldly counseled Job. Later God showed His displeasure for his ungodly words. When our heart is filled with ill feelings, devil may use the word of God in our situation, to mislead us.
As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.James 4:16
We should always pray to God to discern whether the leading is from God or out of our own grudge or from someone else. If it is from someone else, the end result will be of self-centered approach, it will hurt others and we will be proud, thinking that we have utilized the word of God in an appropriate manner.
King Herod and his officials, Sadducees and Pharisees were proud of what they were doing while they crucified Jesus. The crowd was proud about releasing Barabbas out from jail. Are we proud of our arrogance and revengeful attitude?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
We should use the word of God primarily to correct ourselves and then to correct others with overwhelming love of God. The word of God should depart from our heart with compassion. If we learn to do so, we will hear the voice of God all the time. Not only that, we will also witness countless heavenly visions in the days to come.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.Matthew 5:8