The Conversation

John 3:5-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The last six devotionals were written specifically to lead us here to this conversation.

“What does God’s voice sound like?”

The bible records Jesus’ words in John 10:27 English Standard Version (ESV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me

I cannot dismiss the question offhand because of John 10:27. I would however prefer to reshape the question in light of John 3:8 which is also true. Since the Holy Spirit is given at our quickening and it is the Comforter who testifies of Jesus and reminds us of all that Jesus has said, then how can we listen for the testimony of the Holy Spirit?

During the past six devotionals there is one common thread throughout. The Word changed me without my understanding of how just reading the Word could do that. I was being led to relevant passage without understanding how I got there. I ended up in a place where I received help that I could not provide for myself. I didn’t know how I got there.

These three items were not of my own design. I did not make a willful decision to change, to understand or to find help. The Holy Spirit had been with me from the beginning and was a force within me that accomplished the will of God without being heard. There was no “voice” to be heard by the ears of flesh.

Why do we expect fleshly ears to tell us what God’s voice sounds like?

The wind, like the Spirit has effect without having an auditable voice.

Welcome Home

Luke 15:20 English Standard Version (ESV) And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

When I came to New Covenant Church I found myself at one point crying for the first time in my life declaring “I am the prodigal son.”

I was welcomed in and accepted as if they knew me. At the time I did not know it but they had been praying for me because my boss, their elder, had placed me on their prayer chain.

The core of that church had gone to college together. They met together in a gathering called “The Well” at the University of Texas. Out of “The Well” came a group of teachers who were very gifted. Those teachers and a Doctor of Divinity would cycle through services over the years and provide some of the best teaching I have ever heard.

This was what I missed by just reading my bible at home alone.

Proverbs 4:4-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

I began getting it. I was not meant to be alone in my reading of God’s Word. I had not learned how to study God’s Word while I was alone. I could not teach myself how to study God’s Word. I needed to understand what being a disciple meant.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,

Reading God’s Word alone does not offer correction in wrong thinking. We need to have our theology tested for soundness. We need to subject ourselves to others that are worthy of respect.