Knowing God’s Voice

Apr 10, 2024 | The Chuck Wagon

“At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out…”  Num. 9:23a; NASB

This passage is from a larger Numbers passage (v15-23) that describes how Israel is to respond to God’s presence. From the day the tabernacle was erected, a cloud (God’s presence) would cover it in the daytime. In the evening, the appearance of fire (God’s presence) was over it. Whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, the Israelites were to set out in the desert. They would continue through the desert until the cloud settled down, at which point they would camp. At the command of the Lord, they would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp (v18). They were to remain camped as long as the cloud did not move.

This process was to teach Israel about God’s relationship with His people. The first lesson was that God was always with them. Either the cloud or fire were there at all times. This meant God was with them at all times. The second lesson was one of obedience. When the cloud moved, they needed to move. If they did not move with the cloud, they would be out from under God’s covering, and His protection. These lessons were not only for the Israelites in the desert. They were for all Israelites and all believers of all time. After their wilderness journey was complete, they would no longer have the cloud, but God’s presence was still with them as long as they remained obedient to His Word.

It is the same for believers today, although there is an additional element. Paul writes, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). We can learn a lot from the experiences of the Israelites, but there is more, and that came at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit comes to live in every believer when they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is because Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (Jn. 16:7). We’re told that on Pentecost, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).

Believers now have the Holy Spirit with them continually. Scripture tells us “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness”, and “you may become partakers of the divine nature” (see 2 Pe. 1:3-4). There is an important caveat; however, we must develop a relationship with Him to distinguish His voice from our own. This begs the question, “how can I know if I’m hearing the Lord’s voice?” The answer to that is, “the more time you spend with Him, the better you will know His voice.” Think about it, you know your mother’s and father’s voices because of how much time you have spent with them. It is the same with God. Reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer are essential to knowing His voice.

Be still when God wants you to be still. Move when He wants you to move. You will know when to move and when to wait if you spend intimate time with Him in prayer. You will not always get it right in the beginning, but over time His voice will become a clear and distinct.

God bless and have a great week

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