Dr. Dianne Coflin
As I was reading this past week, I was struck with how many times this quote, “Today if you hear His voice,” is repeated in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb. 3:15). This verse was referencing the story of Israel when they continually hardened their hearts in the wilderness, as God would try to lead them! This word harden means to make callous, stubborn, or unfeeling. When your heart has become hardened spiritually, without realizing it you develop a HABIT of not listening and refusing to obey, becoming more and more stubborn and unfeeling.
In Psalms 95, this warning against hardening our heart is repeated, however, preceding this is a reminder that He is our God, and we are the sheep of His pasture. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.” Now by no means are we to be going about just listening for voices at every turn. However, I do believe that God wants us to know that our relationship with Him is reciprocal, and He desires us to become familiar with Him, having conversations, just as we would with our friends. Jesus told the disciples “I have called you my friends because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father” (Jn. 15:15). Imagine that God wants to be your friend!!
We have been given the responsibility to partake of His Word every day. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit will always agree. This is how we begin to learn the voice of the Holy Spirit, because as we study the Word of God, we become familiar with how God thinks, His will, His ways. So, when we sense God is speaking to our hearts it’s because we have come to know Him through His Word. How many times have you heard something someone taught and while it may have sounded good, your spirit couldn’t get into agreement with it? Many times, that is the witness of the Spirit of God inside you letting you know that voice is the voice of the stranger, and you are not to receive it.
The Holy Spirit will always bear witness to the truth. His precious Word is powerful; it is His divine communication with us. His Word is truth. His Word has been given to us for reproof, correction, and instruction in right living. We should be in training every day, learning to listen and obey.
Israel had many opportunities to obey but time and time again, willfully chose to neglect and refuse God’s way. Unfortunately, their disobedience prohibited them from entering the promised land.
What is it God may be dealing with you about? Have you felt His prompting to obey in an area and you have refused? The mercies of God are renewed every day, and He is so patient and longsuffering. Don’t allow your heart to become stubborn and indurate. God’s desire is we remain pliable, open, and yielding. Know this He is a Good Shepherd and always has your best interest at heart!! Food for thought!!
Pastor Dianne Coflin, Co-Pastor of River of Life Church, Lutz, Florida. Our services are 10:30am Sunday and Wednesday 7:00pm (childcare provided.) We would love to have you come visit and become a part of our church family!
410 E. Chapman Rd. in Lutz, FL 33549