“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.' Now this, 'Yet once more,' indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25-29
Taking the time to hear God speak to ones heart seems to be a lost practice among most Christians. I am not sure if it has to do with lack of training, the busyness of life, or the fear of what God may say if one did hear Him speak, but none the less the practice is still fading and the revelation of God to the church is becoming more feared than the God Himself we are called to fear as He is a “consuming fire.”
I remember one of the first bible studies I ever led. We were doing a study on prayer and at one point in the study we were talking about the need to listen and hear what God desires to speak to us. A woman in the group pulled me aside at the end of that study and said, “I don't want to hear God speak. I have seen what my brother-in-law hears from God and I want nothing to do with that.” I was a bit confused with her response and so I asked her, “What does your brother-in-law hear from God?”
After listing off a long list of non-biblical directives her brother-in-law had professed “he heard God's voice speak to him” as a prophet of a cult that connected itself loosely with Christianity, I finally understood her fear. As it turned out, it took many weeks of study and prayer for this woman to get beyond her fear of hearing God and what He wanted to speak to her about, but eventually the day came when she did let her defenses down and the Lord spoke to her in the most gently and wonderful way.
I remember the call to this day even though it was over 10 years ago. This is what she said: “Peggy, I seem to be getting the same message in all of the scripture I read, through every person I have talked to lately, and just now the song on the radio gave me the same message too. Is this how God speaks?” I was very happy to respond, “Yes!” (And it did line up with the bible what she was hearing too - always a good check to keep in place where trying to discern God's voice.)
As the scripture above states, the word which God speaks and the things that are His cannot be shaken out of this world. These are the words we should want to hear above any others and follow no matter what the cost required in that obedience. God does not speak to us to hurt us, but rather for our own good and to draw us closer to Him.
We choose to believe a lie if we fear what the Lord may speak into our lives – a lie that God wants to harm us or call us to do crazy and fanatic things for Him. In reality, the enemy does not want us to hear what God has to say, because in hearing God he knows we become useful to the purposes which oppose him and we will gain insight beyond what he has access to. In fearing the word of God over fearing God Himself we have bought that lie 100% and are debilitated from keeping a closer relationship with Jesus.
Our thinking needs to change, and our fear needs to be put in their rightful place – into looking forward to that day when the things of this world are “shaken” and our God who is a “consuming fire” burns up everything that is not of Him. Our fear should drive us to seek what God wants to speak to us all the more because we rightfully fear all we may miss if we do not take the time to hear His voice and do His will. Only in living this way can we be certain the things we do today and every day will last for eternity in the kingdom that cannot be shaken.