It is important for us to remember that God does not live in the Bible, and that obeying Him does not simply mean following the Ten Commandments. It means walking in unbroken loyalty to His voice. Jesus modeled this remarkably for us. He resisted every force that attempted to knock Him out from under the covering of His Father's authority and get Him to do His own thing. He simply refused to be distracted by the voices of others. When the devil shouted at Him, "Worship me!" He told the devil to get lost. When the religious leaders tried to intimidate Him into submission, He instead healed another person on the Sabbath day. When the crowds or His closest friends and family members tried to control His divine agenda, He rebuked them. He even refused to listen to the voice of His own soul when it cried out in anguish in Gethsemane. Radical? Maybe, but obedience to God's voice is the key to unlocking the door to the impossible. The idea that our lives are supposed to be directed by the voice of God scares the heck out of many believers. (And of course, the world thinks we are nuts when we tell them we "talk to God.") Christians often ask, "How will I know if it's Him? What if I'm deceived? What do I do if He tells me to do something radical?"
Entire books have been written about how to discern God's voice, but I think we can gain the most insight into this just by watching mothers deal with their children. Have you ever noticed that mothers seem to have supersonic hearing? A mother can hear her child's cry in the midst of a noisy crowd of people, in another room or even in great distances. Mothers also seem to have some kind of heart-seeking, radar vision that can pierce through obstacles and recognize the slightest nuance of change in a child's expression. But the most impressive mom superpower is that "sixth sense" thing, where a mom just knows what is going on with her child.
You know what I'm talking about. What gives a mother that uncanny, supernatural power of perception? I can tell you that it does not come from reading a book on motherhood. You do not get it from looking after someone else's kids, either. I think a mother's supersonic powers come from two things - her intense love (that "don't mess with my kid" love), and the constant, intimate interaction she has with her child.
I am learning that through intimacy with Jesus, I can develop a greater ability to discern His voice. I love what the author of the book of Hebrews said about believers: "Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14, NASB). Every one of us can train our "senses" to discern between the voice of God and the deceptive wranglings of the devil. Notice that we train our senses through practice, not by reading a book or trying to live vicariously through someone else's experiences. I have discovered that as I practice nurturing the presence of God in my life, like mothers nurture their babies, that "sixth sense" awakens in me and God's voice becomes clear.
EXCERPT from Outrageous Courage
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