Last week we looked at obedience from the Old Testament perspective. It is about hearing and listening. What does it mean in the New Testament? In Matthew 8:27, “The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”” This is after Jesus calmed the storm. The wind and the waves obey Him. The word for “obey” used in that verse is the word, “hupakouō” which also means to listen.
That got me thinking about the word “listen” and I read John 10:27 which says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The word used for “listen” there is the word, “akouō” which means to hear, to attend to, to consider what has been said, to understand, perceive the sense of what is said, to learn. I like that the meaning of the word has “to understand” as part of the definition. But do you realise that what we are meant to understand is not the end result, the process or the timing but the words that are spoken? All we need to do, is to hear and understand what God has said, not the how or the why of it.
God will not speak to us in a way we don’t understand. He knows how to speak our language. He speaks to children in a way that they understand and He speaks to us in a way He knows we will understand what He is saying and what He is asking us to do. He is not complicated. He doesn’t come to me and speak to me in French and expect me to work it out, go online, get a French dictionary and decipher what He is saying.
He uses language that is common to me and words that I know the meaning of. I’ve never needed a dictionary when I was talking to God, lol. I am a simple person, He keeps things simple for me. Likewise when God speaks to you, He is not going to give you some over complicated 10 page dissertation that needs a language expert to decipher. He speaks to you in such a way that you understand what He is saying.
God is very serious about communication. He wants to make sure we hear and we understand the words that are coming out of His mouth so that we can act on them. When we do not listen to God it’s not because we lacked understanding, it is because we didn’t want to do what He said or we have misplaced our faith. That is our faith is more in our fear than it is in God.
I think most times we get scared of the unknown. I can tell you, I was one of those people who were afraid to hear from God because I was scared of what He could ask me to do. I think we have this image of a god who will tell us to go down to the river and walk on water if we truly trust him. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our God is gentle and patient. He works with us where we are and He develops our faith as we go. He is the author and the perfecter of our faith. We need to trust Him with the process and obey Him in the small steps.
When I felt God asking me to put my hand up to roster the teams at church, I couldn’t see that from doing that, I was going to learn to write to the team and send an encouraging word each week and that God was going to take that and develop it and it would become a blog. I didn’t see the end from the beginning because they seemed to have nothing to do with each other and after all, I was not a writer!
So what God is asking you to do today, may not make sense to your natural senses but you do understand the words coming out of His mouth, act on that. Take the small step. Say yes to that new role or no to that old habit. Trust God. Take the step.
Love and blessings,