“Can you hear me now?” Anyone who’s ever spoken on a phone has uttered this question. It’s a sign that the connection is bad. This experience can be frustrating especially if it’s an important call. As it relates to God, how can we expect to hear the Father if we’re not building a relationship (connection) with Him? Yes, we may attend church but more is required of us. The more is this: the primary way to HEAR God speak is to study HOW He speaks.
As our children get older, we’ve tried our best to explain why reading the Bible is so important. Recently, I came up with the following parallel. What if I wasn’t physically accessible to them as they grew up? How could they get a feel for my VOICE? My books. By reading the books I’ve written, they’d get a feel for who I am so if they ever heard something else I’d said or written, they’d recognize it. In a superior manner, the Word of God is the ULTIMATE extension of who the Great I AM is.
We can tell if our children hear us if they can repeat what we’ve said. When our words come from their lips, we know they’ve been within earshot of our voices. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, His weapon to defeat the enemy was speaking the Word of His Heavenly Father (Matthew 4:3-4). God’s written Word tells us who we are as children in His Kingdom and Who God is as our Father. By reading and reciting His Word, we’re connecting to the voice of God.
In our first article, I relayed three stories concerning the as-yet-unknown steps God had ordered for me. Two of those three steps came with commands of “Go” (RE: our former church) and “Quit” (RE: my former job) from my unseen Father. Each story had a similar element: leaving a known comfort zone for the unknown which is something our flesh is not naturally inclined to do.
But how do you trust what opposes our flesh and natural surroundings? Simply put, to TRUST the Word of God enough to OBEY it, you must first KNOW the Word well enough for yourself:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” – John 10:27
If you doubt the validity of my personal stories, look no further than the following accounts from the Bible itself:
- God told Noah to build an ark for a natural disaster no one had heard of before
- God told Abram to leave his family and go to an as-yet-unknown “place that I will show you”
- Jesus told His disciples to follow Him full-time (which meant they had to leave their jobs)
I’d like to close this article by going back to how my wife started it. Have you ever received a call where the caller’s voice drops after only hearing the first few words? With the advent of caller ID, the next logical step is to see if you 1) recognize the name and 2) want to talk to the caller. The latter is a moot point if you’re EXPECTING a call from the person, though. Having gone through these steps, you’d likely speak back and begin to check your connection as you prompt them to say more, right? Doing anything less is… illogical.
In our marriage, my wife is the one to prompt God for more words to guide us in our next steps; this is needed especially since I tend to get geeked after only hearing Him speak one word! We both look forward to hearing from God and recognize the need to connect with Him. When it comes to hearing God, it’s not WI-FI (why?) as much as it is a WIN-FI (when?). So while I’m ready to go after hearing one word from Him, she is better at prompting God to say more. Within this balance lies a means of establishing a steady flow of communication that, despite having an awkward start, begins an ongoing dialogue with a relational and ever-speaking God where we’re constantly tuning our spiritual ears to pick up His spiritual voice.
- Do you recognize God’s voice when He speaks?
- Have you been expecting His “call”?
- Do you even have a strong desire to talk to Him?
- Will you do what it takes to hear Him beyond the first Word He speaks?
Reggie and Quiana Kee have known each other for over 20 years and were married in 2004. They were licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in 2015 at the Kingdom Advancement Center in Elgin, Ill., where they currently reside. They have two children and are the co-founders of Ink Well Spoken and Manu Forti Ministries, which serve as the marketplace and faith-based programs for their motivational speaking initiatives.