Hearing Better or Doing Better?

Today we are talking about hearing from God and doing something with what we hear.  We are really talking about how faith without works is dead.  Now that sounds really religious.  We might quote that verse from James and feel like we are saying something important, but really it isn’t a complex concept. 

Basically all we are actually saying is that, “Talk is cheap.  You can tell me you have faith, but I will show you I have faith by what I DO.”

That is what we are talking about today. 

The Main Point

What is the whole point of this article?

Oftentimes we get hung up on the “hearing” part of walking by faith, but the truth is that everyone of us hears God.  It is what we do with what we hear that matters. Faith without works is dead. 

4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

John 10:4-5 KJV

You KNOW God’s Voice

The first and most important thing to remember when you are talking about following God is that you know God’s voice.  As our primary scripture for today tells us, we are God’s sheep.  The shepherd is the Lord Jesus.  

Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. You are a sheep of God.
  2. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
  3. Jesus will always LEAD us and never PUSH us. 

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

See God is a “rewarder” of the person who diligently seeks him.  

The point is that if you are a saved, believer you know the voice of God.  Most of the time, we know what we are supposed to do, but we use “hearing God better” as our excuse for not doing the things we know to do already.  

We will tell ourselves, “If I just heard God better…” or maybe, “I must not be hearing God because I don’t know 3 steps ahead.” 

God is pleased with your faith.  The moment God gives you the entire plan it stops being faith.  That is why God only gives us the NEXT step.  

The problem is that when we have the next step we think we need the next next step to get started.  God is saying that you simply need to take a step of faith.  Put yourself in an uncomfortable position in the flesh and walk after what your spirit is telling you to do. 

Facts about Hearing from God

Now real quick I want to look at a few facts about walking by faith and hearing from God that every one of us should keep in mind as we step out.

#1 It will always line up with God’s Word.

13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

Hebrews 6:13 KJV

God cannot break His Word.  He cannot lie.  So when He says something is true – IT’S TRUE.  The same goes for His voice.  As He speaks to you and I, it is our responsibility to listen, and when we do, He will give us things that line up with His word.  

If you “hear the voice of God” and it tells you to do something other than what the Bible says, IT ISN’T GOD’S VOICE!

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:8 KJV

We have this assurance that because he doesn’t change as we get to know Him better we will recognize His voice better as we serve Him.  He doesn’t change so you will start to recognize what He would say.  “That sounds like God.”  Might be a thought that runs through your head.  

The same is true with a friend you get to know better.  As you dive into the relationship, you start to see who they are.  Then as people talk about them, you can separate the truth from the lies because you know their character and personality. 

The same happens with God.  Someone says, “God made me sick.” and you can say, “That doesn’t sound like MY God.” because you know Him for yourself. 

#2 It will be slow.

In my younger years, I made quite a few mistakes with this one.  Remember back to our verse for today.  “…he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him…”  

God is never going to make you feel rushed or like you have to do something RIGHT NOW!

The devil’s goal is to get you to think that if you don’t do it RIGHT NOW then you won’t be able to.  The truth is that his goal is to get you trying to move so “fast” that you end up running in place.  You spend time chasing your butt running in circles because you think that you just have to do it right now. 

Saul’s Problem

In spending time with God, I was talking to Him about this and said, “Well I don’t know of anyone who had this problem in the Bible.”

But think about Saul (later Paul).  He was so wrapped up in doing something “for God” he ended up doing the exact opposite!  And that is what happens to us when we try to get in a hurry.  

Joshua and Israel

Now think about Joshua.  The whole nation of Israel was looking to Joshua to have the answer for how to get into the promised land.  In Joshua 3:3-4 we see how Joshua handled the situation, 

3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

Joshua 3:3-4 KJV

You see, the solution to knowing where to go is knowing who to pursue after.  God is going before you, but just as Joshua said to leave a space of “about two thousand cubits” between Israel and the ark because “you have not passed this way before” so we need to do the same.  

The importance of this shouldn’t be lost. 

Knowing what to do and when to do it are both important steps.

To step out of God’s timing is to step out of God’s will.  A correct action in the wrong time is still a wrong action!

When you hear God telling you to do something or make some big change in your life, DON’T just drop everything else and go off half ready!  God will start to prepare you with things before you actually have to act.  You will know the time.  

Elijah and the River

Remember when Elijah prayed that it wouldn’t rain?  He went to the Brook Cherith in 1 Kings 17 to wait with the Lord.  Then we see in verse 7-9 that the brook dried up, but notice he didn’t leave until GOD SAID to leave. 

7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,

9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

1 Kings 17:7-9 KJV

Until you hear differently, keep doing what you know to do. 

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV

#3 He will give you the next step – NOT THE WHOLE PLAN

This point we have already talked about briefly, but it’s important!  You are not going to get the whole plan.  You will only get the very next step.  That is all you have to think about.  Remember how in Matthew 6 Jesus says that today has enough stuff to think about (I’m paraphrasing of course).  

The point is that you can’t be worried about what is going to happen tomorrow!  That will take care of itself.  Just focus on doing everything you know to do in the here and now. 

It’s not about HEARING better; it’s about DOING better

Now the whole point of this post.  It’s not about hearing better; it really is about DOING what you already know to do.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 2:14 KJV

What this verse is saying is that it doesn’t matter what you SAY.  It matters what you DO.  That is the whole point.  What are you DOING?  Talk is cheap, but actions speak louder than words. 

So the next time you are tempted to say something like, 

“I don’t hear God’s voice.” 

Stop and think about it for a moment.  You DO hear God’s voice. The greater question is what are you doing with what you hear?

I hope you enjoyed this post, and would love to hear from you if you are getting anything out of these.  If you haven’t already, check out our previous post here or all our posts here.