I wrote a post called “Phone Home” where I talked about this verse:
John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (NKJV)
The Greek word translated voice here is Phōnē: a sound, a tone, of inanimate things, as musical instruments, a voice, of the sound of uttered words. I thought it was no accident that God’s voice is like getting a “phone” call. We should be getting calls regularly. Actually we should be in a steady dialogue with God. How else will we know His instruction? We can claim that we know “what He said” but I challenge you that keeping His instruction has much more to do with hearing His voice than following some doctrine established by Bible scholars. I challenge all of us to seek a relationship with a living God, our Abba in Heaven. He speaks to us in many ways and is always looking for a conversation. It is why He made us and why Jesus saved us. Think about it.
So this should really blow you away…
I was reading and meditating on a few things that seemed pretty random. Then God brought me to Acts Chapter 2. This is the famous “day of Pentecost” event. No matter how you look at that day and try to put it into something understandable, you will fail. It was an amazing day! I can’t imagine how excited all the people were. Can you put yourself in the place of the disciples waiting in the upper room? Can you fathom the love that was poured out by and through the Holy Spirit? I believe this is our privilege today. I believe we all have a “day of Pentecost” opportunity. It may not be like “the day” but the relationship, the filling of the Spirit, the joy of the Lord, the love of God, and more is what God intended for all of us. So back in Acts I was reading these verses:
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. … 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language (ESV)
Do you see the word sound in verse 2 and 6? Did you know they aren’t the same Greek words? The first word translated “sound” is Ēchos: a sound, noise, spoken of the roar of the sea waves. It is the same word we get echo from. Now replay the event. The disciples are waiting when the Holy Spirit shows up like a mighty rushing wind. The Greek word used for the Spirit is derived from a word that means to blow. So imagine the breath of God, the blowing of God, the Holy Spirit moving through the room. The disciples are the temples of the Holy Spirit. So I suggest that God is actually blowing around and through them.
Did you know that God refers to us as reeds?
Matt 12:20 a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; (ESV)
Did you know that reeds are what give woodwinds the vibration that results in sound or music from the instrument? Can you see it? God was blowing through His reeds…and there was a sound. Each of the disciples had a sound, probably a unique one. Much like a canyon in the mountains or a huge empty warehouse where the sounds were like echoes of the original sound. They were a symphony of harmonics of God breathed, Holy Spirit music. Come on! That should excite you. But wait there is more…
In verse 6 of Acts ch 2 it says that the multitude was drawn together by a sound. This word is a different word than Echo. Guess what it is? Phone! Just like in John 10:27. The people heard God’s voice or the sound that God makes or something like that. They heard Him! God called them together. Now can you “hear” it? They hear the symphony of His voice through the disciples and all the people dropped everything they were doing to come and “hear” what was going on. Of course when they got there they heard about the mighty works of God in their own language. That is pretty awesome.
This is how it should be with us all the time. Our greatest privilege on this Earth is to wait on the Lord and hear His voice. Not only that but we get to “echo” His voice to others that may not be able to hear. This is what David said:
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word]. (AMP)
David had a heart for God. He desperately wanted to hear from God. He waited and knew God would answer. Under the old covenant, when the people sought the presence of God they were seeking His face, a one on one. The word that is translated “presence” in Hebrew is Panim or Paneh which means face and is from the word panah which means to turn. I never really understood that concept. I felt it was more of a long distance relationship. I though the people were too afraid of God to draw near so I interpreted “presence” as proximity. The concept is actually much more intimate. The concept is actually the same as on the day of Pentecost. OK, now I have your attention. Check out this verse:
Heb 12:19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. (ESV)
This is a reference to when the nation of Israel came to the mountain for the first time. Remember they rejected a one-on-one and instead told Moses to be the representative of the people. They wanted an impersonal relationship, law. Still God was appealing in the same way as the day of Pentecost. Can you guess what the Greek words for sound and voice are in this verse? You got it…echo and phone. Come on. The difference is of course Jesus. On this side of the cross there are no more boundaries, walls, sins, excuses or anything else that separates us from God. We are completely and totally reconciled. If all of that didn’t already take your breath away, here is one more:
John 3:8 The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Guess what the word for “sound” is here. That’s right, phone. We have typically interpreted this verse as the Spirit moves and it is outside our seeing. We see evidence of His work but don’t actually see Him doing it. But how about the sound? Could it be that those that are drawn to God are “hearing” His voice, His sound?
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
So God is “speaking” even to the unbeliever. I think that is pretty profound. Like David we should be seeking His face. Like the disciples in the upper room we should be waiting on Him. Like the people on the day of Pentecost we should be drawn by His voice. I bet Papa has something to say to us, how about you? I believe that when Jesus said “if we love Him we keep His instructions” it was a prophetic not historic statement. I believe that when we listen, wait, expect, desire and believe He absolutely speaks to us His “instructions.” When we love Him we are in communion with Him and listening. When we believe Him we are empowered by Him because when He speaks it makes it possible. Jesus did nothing apart from what He heard from His Abba. He is our Abba too. We are His children. Not only that but we get to live the life of Christ and He is interceding for us even now. That ought to change the way you hear “sounds”.