It may have hurt your feelings to read the quote. You know the one that expresses the cold hard reality. The one in the previous post.
“Very few humans really do concretely desire to hear what God has to say to them.”
In the context of the previous post, I tried to express the idea that we don’t listen well to God. We stop listening if the message interferes with our lives and if we do listen, we distort the message to fit our life desires. Do you think God wants to waste time with someone who does that?
I don’t know.
I wouldn’t. Would you?
But I don’t know the mind of God.
I know God speaks to sinners. Jesus spent his life listening to sinners and Jesus spoke to sinners. Matthew 11:15 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This verse is not addressed to believers; it is addressed to all.
But let’s get to the topic I pose in the title of this blog entry.
Who does not hear God’s voice?
The most common time that someone wants a word from God is in times of crisis. During wartime, this is often referred to as a “foxhole prayer.” For any who are not familiar with that term it means that when the bombs are bursting and one’s life is in immanent danger, many soldiers pray for deliverance from harm’s way. That is all they have. A desperate plea for God to let them live.
Talk about a crisis.
Believe it or not, Dr. Willard says that when we are “backed into a corner” that’s when we pray for a word from God. We are ready to listen. When we are not in trouble or when we are not faced with a tough decision, we don’t want to listen to God.
But He is speaking.
Yes, when you are looking for the perfect Christmas card and you have gone to three places and then you see it as you are leaving the card section of your third store, He is speaking. When you feel the need to call a sick friend and you do and you can tell in their voice that you have touched them, you have done His work and He has worked through you. He has spoken and you have done His bidding.
These are the uneventful times of life.
But believers who want to hear from God, listen to Him and want to hear Him all the time. They are not just foxhole prayer people.
Dr. Willard says “Those who want a word from God when they are in trouble cannot find it. Or at least they have no assurance that they have found it…they do not first and foremost …want to hear God speaking in their lives in general.”
Dr. Willard goes further in excluding people from God’s Word. He feels that people who have blatant disregard of God’s directives may have little chance to hear from God. He points to 1 Thessalonians 4:3 on sexual immorality as an example. People ignore that instruction with impunity. Certainly the person who does not care to pray in the midst of an uneventful life is ignoring 1 Thessalonians 5:18. “It is not wise to disregard these plain directives and then expect to hear a message from God when we want it.”
Here is the “bottom line” for people who receive words from God. These people desire God’s Word because they know God has our best interest in His heart.
These people want to receive daily help to be more “Christlike”. They seek transformation. They know that getting from where they are to where they want to be will not be possible without God’s guidance. God guides in the little things and in the big things. God is there in the happy times and He is there in the unhappy times.
The person who does not hear from God is the person who does not have ready ears. To be technical [since I majored in communication] the person who hears from God is the one who is trying to receive the message from God 24/7 and is willing to accept it as it is, without selective listening or distortion.
If you have a heart for The Lord, He will speak.
Dr. Willard cites G. Campbell Morgan: “wherever there are hearts waiting for the Voice of God, that Voice is to be heard.”
Is your heart ready?