If any man hears my voice and open the door, I will come in…
“Hearing people” today is an essential skill for leaders in the Western nations, and it is becoming increasingly important throughout the world. Social researchers across the globe have identified the growth worldwide in almost all cultures of the common people demanding more respect from leaders. There is much good in this trend – more good than bad in my opinion. James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” We Christians should be sensitive to ideas and feelings and opinions from among our fellow believers.
Yet there is along with it the danger of losing perspective, to think that because all people are important, that all worldviews, all values, all ideas are equal in value. And there is where we find trouble. Just because all people are important does not mean that all ideas or standards of morality are equal, or even important.
The Bible put the emphasis on listening to God, developing the discipline of hearing His voice above all others. The Revelation 3 passage above is from the letter to the church Laodicea. They had heard one another, had become sensitive and responsive to each other’s thoughts and feelings. But in the process they stopped listening for God’s voice.
Sadly, there are many Christians and many churches this way. Their boast is in who attends, the talents of the members, the notoriety that they bring rather than on the Lord. Some churches will be quick to hear a generous giver, but neglect the duty to hear the biggest Giver of all – the Lord Jesus.
Christ promised that those who heard His voice could through their response of faith and obedience bring about renewed fellowship with the Lord. Our first duty in the church is to listen to the voice of Christ, for His voice brings peace and joy and life.
Confess your sins up to date. Read His Word daily. Expect Him to speak to you. He may simply tell you how greatly He loves you. He may just affirm in your heart the truth of His Word. Listening to Christ is not about hearing new revelations, rather it is about hearing Him affirm to you the Word that He has already given. The one who listens to His Spirit as he reads the Word, can also expect the Lord to guide him.
This is a renewed church – a fellowship that is confident of the presence and voice of the Lord in their individual hearts as they meet under His Lordship.