by Leigh Ann Dilley on January 20, 2022
Pastor Dary announced his vision for 2022, A People of Hope and Encouragement. As women who want to spread hope and encouragement, we are going to focus on God’s promises during 2022 which is where hope and encouragement begin.
After the very rich Advent study we offered Pointing to the Promise where we were reminded that Jesus is the proof of how God always keeps his promises. In a season when we need hope and encouragement more than ever, the study of God’s promises seems appropriate.
The first promise I’d like us to consider is found in Jeremiah 33:3. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. This promise clearly states when we call out to God, we will be heard. God will answer us by giving us insight into things that are not humanly possible to understand. This is an Old Testament promise that is still true today.
A New Testament promise about hearing God’s voice comes from John 10:27, Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow Me." Again, a clear promise from Jesus that He will speak to us, and we will know and follow his voice.
I grew up in the country. My father was a university professor, but we raised sheep, and my dad loved his sheep. I witnessed my father call his sheep many times, and believe me, they knew his voice. They would come running to my father when he called them. Often, they would bellow back vocally as if to tell him they heard him and were coming. Honestly, sheep may not be the brightest animal; but they most certainly recognize their shepherd’s voice.
Do you know what God’s voice sounds like in your life? If God’s promises to hear and answer our prayers are clear in the Bible, why does it seem our ability to hear God’s voice is difficult or absent all together?
There are things that can hinder God’s voice.
First, obedience. Priscilla Shirer says, “Obedience is not only the proactive posture we take to hear Him, but it is also the response we employ once He has spoken.”
Do we come humbly to the Lord and obediently follow the nudges we are given?
Another hinderance to hearing God’s voice is unconfessed sin and the inability to forgive; causing God’s messages to be blocked. Be honest with God about these things and how they may be affecting your ability to hear His voice. Repentance, followed closely by forgiveness is vital.
We are instructed to "wait for it." Habakkuk 2:3 The vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay. Remember to honor God’s timing, not your own.
Finally, be a good listener. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel us. The Holy Spirit resides in us. Those who focus on Christ, in a listening posture, and meet Him daily in prayer as well as His word, will hear Him, just as He has promised.