To hear God’s voice, we need a pure heart, we need a hearing ear, and we need a responsive life.
Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the stress rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Now let me submit something to you. Do you know in that story that both men built their houses? Evidently it took them both the same amount of time to do it. So, the issue here was not the building process, it was the place where it was built.
But the man who built his house on the sand built his house. He paid the price! He spent the time! He absorbed the cost that it took to do that. He built his house. While the other man built his house on a rock. Do you also realize that both houses got hammered? We’re not exempt from the difficulties of life. We’re equipped for the difficulties of life – because we’ve built on the Word, we’ve built on the rock.
People say “I don’t have time to do what you’re telling me to do! “I don’t have time to seek the Lord!” “I don’t have time to pray!” “I don’t have time to get into the Bible like what you’re saying!” “I don’t have time to do that!”
Well I beg to differ with you. Do you realize how empty that argument’s going to be when you stand before the Lord? “I didn’t have time to build my house on the rock because I was building it on the sand!” You want to say that one more time? Maybe in a different way that doesn’t sound quite as stupid? You didn’t have time to build your house on the rock because you were building it on the sand?
One of the things that the Lord wants from us the most is obedience that comes from faith and trusting in Him. How many of us know that He’s not going to tell us to do something that’s not in our best interest? Trust the faithfulness of God.
Obedience comes out of that security of knowing that He is a covenant keeping God. That He is faithful. You know something? If you write out the word obedience O B E D I E N C E you know what the middle letter is? “I” and the letters that it’s in between are “D” and “E” – “I Die”. That’s the heart of obedience.
To obey the Lord, we’ve got to come to a place where we will say “I die” and sometimes He will ask us to do something just because He wants to stretch us to obey, whether we like it or not. If we’re willing to obey, that’s what makes a responsive life. We’ve got to have a responsive life to hear from the Lord.
A Responsive Life
Samuel gives us an example of what it takes to respond – you must acknowledge, accept, and accomplish what the Lord is telling you. Eli said to Samuel, “go and lie down. If you hear Him speaking say – ‘speak Lord for your servant is listening.’ So, Samuel went and laid down in his place.”
One of the first things in responding to a word from the Lord is to admit that He is talking to you. Once you admit that it’s the Lord talking, then you’re responsible. You’re accountable. So, you say, “OK Lord, I know it’s you.” How many times do we say, “Is that you?” Most of the time we say that because we don’t want it to be Him. We don’t like what we think He’s saying. We suddenly become Bible experts.
The first way to develop a responsive life is to acknowledge “Lord, that is You. I don’t understand all you’re saying, but I’m familiar enough with your voice and your ways to know you are speaking here. “
Secondly, accept it. Mary is such a great example. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Be it unto me according to Your word. Accept the word of the Lord. Acknowledge Him when He is speaking, accept what He is saying, and then accomplish – go do what He told you to do.
God always speaks to those who will DO what He has said to do.
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