“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Gen. 22:2). That’s what God told Abraham to do at the age of 75.
What amazed me is that Abraham readily obeyed God. How did he know it was the voice of God speaking to him? Let’s face it; this was no simple request such as pass up your meals for one day, or go and make amends to your neighbor you offended. No, God was telling Abraham to leave his family, to go to an unspecified location, and to kill and offer his only son as a burnt offering! Though the Bible does not tell us so, I am assuming that God spoke to Abraham in an audio voice.
I believe God speaks to us through various means today such as the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and dreams and visions-in that order. In this post, I am referring to these collectively as the “voice of God.” Some people even claim to have had experiences in which God spoke to them in an audible voice.
If you listen to some believers, preachers included, God speaks to them all day long every day. In one sermon, a preacher may mention six things God told him in the past 24 hours. So let’s reflect on Abraham’s experience to underscore the importance of knowing the voice of God. Had it not been the voice of God speaking to Abraham, he would have ended up going to the middle of nowhere and killing his only son that God had miraculously blessed him with.
These days, believers are too quick to say what God told them to do. At times, they are outright lying because their claims contradict the Word of God. Sometimes, it’s an attempt to justify what they themselves want to do. Or sometimes, they just want to seem super holy.
But error in the area of hearing the voice of God can be costly. Why? Because whether you are a parent, a pastor, or business leader, the decisions you make affect everybody under you. For instance, if Abraham was wrong about who was speaking to him, Isaac would have ended up dead. The pastor who takes the church in a new direction because he thinks he heard the voice of God when he did not will misdirect the entire congregation. The same is true about the Christian business leader who makes a similar mistake.
We can’t dismiss the idea of God speaking to His children. He does speak to us these days primarily through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. But our claims to have heard the “voice of God” when we have not can be costly—not only to us but to others as well.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.