So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
“Read your Bible, pray everyday and you’ll grow, grow, grow”. I can remember singing this song as a child when I attended Vacation Bible School. At the time, this song appealed to me simply because of the catchy melodic line. Now that I have grown older, this seemingly simple song has become a blueprint for maturity. Prayer and consistent reading of the scriptures are the perfect combination for growth. My spiritual life changed for the better once I looked at prayer and Bible reading in the proper context. Too often we read the Bible and pray because we buy into the superstitious ideal that neglecting to do these things will incur the wrath of God or result in a very bad day. However the power in these exercises is that they promote growth, by fine-tuning our ability to hear God.
This series has been focused on learning how to hear God’s voice. We started by acknowledging the fact that God still speaks to humanity, and desires to speak individually to us. I often encounter people who feel that they can’t hear God because God does not speak to them. I actually believe that God speaks to us all; the struggle is being able to differentiate his voice from all the other voices or influences. For me, hearing God can be challenging when I have various thoughts and ideals competing for my attention. What is God’s will? What is his character? How can I know that what I am hearing is his voice and not my own thoughts? These are the questions that often arise.
Romans 10:17 declares that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. This scripture in its primary context speaks of the connection of the preached Word to unbelievers as the gateway into faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Yet I would argue that this same process holds true in hearing God post-salvation. Hearing comes by the Word of God. Or put more simply, the more I engage the scriptures the better my ear is tuned to hearing God’s voice. Why is this? The Bible is not just full of Christ’s teachings, but also of God’s character. The more I digest God’s Word, the more I can understand his character. The better I understand God’s character, the easier it becomes to distinguish God’s voice from all others. You want to hear God’s voice, or even hear it clearer? Read your Bible and pray daily, and watch God reveal himself to you in powerful ways!
God, we thank you that you speak to us because you delight in fellowshipping with your creation. While we pray for ears to hear, we also pray for an appetite for your Word so that we can understand your character. We want to know you better. We desire to hear you better so that we can please you. We endeavor to go boldly before your throne, fully confident that you will not turn us away. Speak to us now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: God’s Character Is to Have Mercy on Everyone (Romans 9–11)
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