Don’t Be Afraid to Listen to the Voice of Love
Have you ever been afraid to listen to what Abba Father wants to say to you? Without even knowing what He’s going to say, do you shrink back in fear? That’s kind of like getting called to the principal’s office when you were a child. Or being called to your supervisor’s office at work. Can you sense the anxiety? We don’t usually expect to hear good things from authority figures.
So what might we do when God wants to speak to us?
We listen to people.
We listen to sermons.
We read the Bible and pray.
We busy ourselves with Christian activities.
Family keeps us occupied.
Friends and work take time.
Add on the distractions of TV, movies, social media, music and books.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these things can be good. And we may hear God speak to us through them. They might even draw us closer to Him. They might also be healthy fun and recreation.
They also might distract us from hearing the voice of our Father.
Stop for a minute and let this question search your heart:
Are you afraid to listen to what Abba Father wants to say to you?
Does the thought of hearing God speak to you bring up feelings of delight or anxiety?
Holy awe or cowering dread?
Do you run to God or away from Him?
If the thought of God speaking to you brings feelings of anxiety and fear, unconsciously you might be using the above list of possible distractions to avoid hearing God’s voice.
Do I mean that you can actually read and study the Bible and avoid hearing God speak at the same time? That’s exactly what I mean.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day searched the Scriptures. They knew the Word. But what did Jesus say to them?
“ You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:40, ESV).
Why didn’t the Pharisees come to Jesus? They didn’t believe Him. They thought they had the right theology. They were religious and self-righteous. They would not humble themselves and turn to Jesus. The sad truth is:
The Pharisees missed the heart of God in their Bible study.
They created an image of a graceless, judgmental god and became like that image themselves.
As a young Christian, I searched for answers to my problems in the Scriptures and in books. But I missed the heart of God toward me. I also believed in a graceless, judgmental god though I would have told you that God loves you and me. I wanted to fix myself so that I would be acceptable. The truth that I was already acceptable by what Jesus did on the Cross had not yet captivated my heart. I was especially graceless and judgmental toward myself. Shame and guilt tormented me.
I began to realize that what I believed was a lie. Abba Father revealed His love and grace to me through the Word and people and by the Spirit. This was a long process. Quite honestly, the learning and growth continue. I need to be reminded of who God really is. I must remember that He loves me as I am right now.
Without a true understanding of who Abba Father is, I am afraid to listen to His voice. I avoid real “quiet” times. He might speak words that trigger the pain of shame and guilt. He could condemn my attitudes or behavior. He might tell me to do something that I don’t want to do. These thoughts are based on a false image of God.
Oh, how utterly essential it is to know Abba Father as He really is! Then we can become like that image of Him. Then we will want to hear His voice, the Voice of Love.
Here is an experience I had just this weekend:
Friday night I was feeling tired after a week of work. I felt discouraged and a bit depressed. I was overwhelmed with all I needed to do on a project. I wondered if all the effort was worth it. I began questioning myself. Did I miss what God really wanted me to do?
I needed to hear the voice of my Father.
Saturday morning I read from a devotional app on my phone. The reading was from Luke 13:1-9. Jesus told a parable about a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit. The owner of the vineyard wanted to cut it down. After all, the tree had three years to bear fruit and had failed. The gardener instead wanted another year to dig around it and add manure (verse 8).
The Lord spoke to me through the reading and the reflection that followed. I was on the right track and needed to be patient and continue working. Hearing the Voice of Love inspired and empowered me. I was energized and ready to get up and continue. His words gave me hope and joy.
That interaction with the Lord took about 5 minutes but totally changed my perspective and attitude.
Abba Father wants to speak with you, too. He knows your needs, your questions and your pain. His words of Love and Life will bring peace to your soul.
Simply turn to Jesus in your heart. Come into His presence. Then listen for His voice, the Voice of Love. Read the Word as a window into the heart of God.
Abba Father, reveal the glory of Your grace and love to our hearts.
Duck on a Lake Photo credit: Welcomia via Canva