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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 24 : Hear God's Voice | Day 162

Hear God's Voice!

Three military men were walking across the huge flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Suddenly, a commanding officer yelled out to them, "Drop!" Two of the men immediately fell on the deck. The third man turned around to see what was happening and was instantly killed by an incoming aircraft.

All three men heard the same word; however, only two of them understood what they heard and obeyed the command. Recognizing and immediately obeying the voice of the commanding officer proved to be a matter of life and death for these men.

Similarly, Jesus states, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:27-28). Jesus says:

Command Twenty-Four: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

There are two types of ears and two types of hearing: physical and spiritual. With our physical ears, we can hear the message of salvation. As we respond to it by God's grace through faith, we receive eternal life. At that moment, we are born again by the spirit of God, Who then indwells our human spirits. (See Ephesians 2:8-9 and John 3:6.) With God's spirit indwelling us, we now have spiritual "ears" to hear spiritual truth. (See I Corinthians 2:14-16.)

I will never forget the first time I heard the Word of God with my new spiritual "ears." I had always been a poor reader in grammar school and found it difficult to comprehend or remember what I read.

However, after receiving Christ as my personal Savior, I had a strong desire to read the Bible. As I read it, it was like a new book to me. I could understand its message, and certain verses "leaped off the pages" with special meaning and application to my life. When I came to a word or phrase that I did not understand, the Holy Spirit gave me spiritual perception to understand its meaning, which I later verified when I learned how to use Bible research tools.

God speaks to us through the inspired revelation of Scripture and through those who accurately explain its meaning to us.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). God raises up pastors and teachers to "feed the flock of God." For example, the Ethiopian eunuch read from the Book of Isaiah; however, he needed Philip to explain to him what it meant. (See Acts 8:27-35.)

As we faithfully memorize and meditate on these commands of Christ and apply them to our lives, we are exercising our spiritual ears to hear and obey the voice of God.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard