When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ” to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:18-21 (NIV)
Hearing Your Voice
Do I want to hear your voice? That is a good question. The quick and simple answer would be, yes of course, I want to hear your voice. Who would not want to hear directly from God? But, I can think of reasons why someone wouldn’t want to hear your voice. Tell me what you think those reasons are. Let me speak from personal experience. At one time or another I’ve been afraid to hear your voice for a variety of reasons. Let’s talk about those fears.
I’ve been afraid that you will ask me to do something I don’t want to do. How likely is that? You’ve got to be kidding me. From my experience, I would say that you are very likely to ask me to do something that I’m not comfortable doing. How concerned do you think I am about your comfort? On one hand, you are very tender, kind and gracious to me. You have cared for me so deeply that I cannot possibly say thanks enough. On the other hand, it has seemed like you have enjoyed making me uncomfortable. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. Let me ask you a question. When I have made you uncomfortable what has happened to you? I’ve grown. Really, I’m glad to hear you admit that. Would you rather be comfortable and staying the same or uncomfortable and growing? I’d rather be growing. So, when I have made you uncomfortable what do you think I have had in mind? My best, you have wanted me to grow. That doesn’t sound too bad after all, does it? No, it doesn’t. When else have you been afraid to hear my voice?
I’ve been afraid that you would ask me to stop doing something that I liked doing. You don’t want to talk about this one too much, do you? Not really. Why is that? Well, some of what you have asked me to stop doing was sinful. We don’t have to go into details now. Let me ask you, why do you think I wanted you to stop sinning? You know that my sinning will harm my relationship with you and others. Sin brings brokenness and death as its wages now and forever. Yes, it does. You have wanted me to live a vibrant life of following you. That requires turning and running away from sin. Yes, it does. How have you felt as you have turned and run away from sin to follow me? I have felt great, new, fresh and alive. So, you wouldn’t trade your old life of sin, for the new life you have in me? Not for a second. So, hearing my voice, has sounded very good to you? Yes, it has. Let’s talk about one more fear you have had, about hearing my voice.
I’ve been afraid that you will say that I cannot have what I wanted to have. Let me ask you, do you believe that I love you and have your very best in mind? Yes, I do. When I have withheld something from you, what has happened? You have given me something different and far better. What else? You have also helped me to understand that what I wanted was not good for me. So, again you have enjoyed hearing my voice? Yes, Lord. Now, I know that I never want to stop hearing your voice. That is very good.
Lord, I don’t want to remain at a distance from you. Help me to draw near so that I can hear your voice. I am ready and willing to listen, follow and obey all that you want to say to me. Teach and guide my life by your words. Amen
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