He Awakens My Ear
Author: Steve Wyzga
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. - Isaiah 50:4
One of my passions in life is for people to grow in the assurance of hearing the voice of their God. This is one of the chief glories of the age of the Spirit, one that at times seems painfully distorted or neglected.
My previous pastor used to say that apart from salvation, there was nothing so sweet or important as hearing the voice of God. God’s voice brings wisdom, comfort, friendship, hope, courage, assurance, healing… all things we need to live joyfully and victoriously in these difficult days. Who does not need his voice speaking?
I found the ESV Study Notes on the Joel 2:28-29 passage referenced last week very encouraging:
“All God’s people will experience the outpouring of the Spirit and intimate communication with the Lord.”
As a teenager, this was the aspect of the gospel that caught my attention. I had showed up at a large outdoor Jesus Festival in Mercer County, Pa in 1976 looking for sex and drugs. Listening to the music and preaching that night what I heard was: you can know God personally. That’s what got my interest, and that’s exactly what I prayed: “God, if this is true, I want to know you.”
God answered, and that night everything changed. Later at our campsite, my friend and I threw our cigarettes in the fire, and I remember reflecting seeking sex that weekend was not an option. The next morning we bought pocket New Testaments at a tent bookstore and started memorizing Matthew 6:33.
I recall the nine hour drive back to our home on the Jersey coast. It seemed everywhere I turned, God was there. At a rest stop there was a Christian book rack that we rifled through. A magazine tossed on a table had an article about incredible things the spirit was doing in the country. In the car we flipped through radio stations listening to preachers and songs about Jesus. It seemed God’s voice was everywhere I turned, and I remember thinking: how did I never notice all this?
Jesus said it this way:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:27
Relationship necessitates communication. The eternal, living God had brought me into relationship with himself! I was hearing his voice. I soon learned I needed to pursue that relationship, that communication.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. - Proverbs 4:23
Having been catapulted by experience into this new life in the spirit, I was subsequently discipled by the same spirit into developing and growing this new life. There were things to do and not do, that the pure, life giving spring would not be muddied or blocked up, but continue to flow and refresh.
And there were times when the spirit had to call me back:
I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. - Revelation 2:4-5
Over the decades I have learned again and again - He is a faithful Father, who knows how to call, comfort, and correct. He continues to speak, to awaken my ear, our ears, morning by morning. When he speaks today, may I be quick to listen and obey.
[to be continued]