We were created to live for God’s voice
Whose voice defines you? Whose smile defines you? Whose approval are you living for? I want you to think about those questions as you read through this article. The voice you listen to is the voice that defines you.
A few weeks ago, I drove to Omaha to watch my young grandson play in a basketball game. He is five years old, so this is his first experience in a sports “league”. As he was playing, he would look to the crowd, for daddy and mommy’s approval. After the game, he came up to me, “Nana did you see me? Did I play well? Did you see me dribble?” Etc. Children want the approval of mom and dad. They look for their parents in the crowd when they are playing a sport or are performing in a play, concert, musical, etc. Your voice, parents defines your children.
We are created to live in the design of connection to the Father’s voice. At creation, God meticulously prepared everything in the garden with love and tender care to be the ideal home for Adam and Eve to have intimacy with God. God created Adam and Eve with love to be in relationship and connection with Him. The only things Adam and Eve knew about the world came from their Father. The eyes of God were Adam’s mirror. The reflection of who Adam was, was seen in the Father’s eyes. Security, love, belonging, peace, feeling the smile of God, friendship, perfect relatedness, etc. Adam and Eve had great intimacy with God and experienced relationship with Him unlike any other human being. Genesis 2:25 tells us, “The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame”. They experience intimacy, vulnerability and no separation. Can you imagine what their connection was like? Take some time to dream about what this would look like in your life.
Adam and Eve lived in a paradise we can’t even imagine in our greatest dreams. They had a relatedness to God and one another that was perfect. Complete wholeness and oneness. Until…a battle began in the garden. Satan didn’t come violently into the garden. He came into the garden and planted a seed of suspicion in the mind. Satan planted doubt that God is not good or that He was holding something back from them.
Before this moment, there had never been another voice speaking to Adam & Eve.
And now for the first time, another voice enters the scene. In the garden, Satan was vying for worship and to have the authority as the voice that defines Adam & Eve. “Did God really say?” Genesis 3:1. Eve stopped and listened to the enemy’s voice. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” Instead of rebuking the enemy’s voice, Eve dwelt on his words. And she engaged a conversation with the enemy. “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,” Genesis 3:3. Eve’s words are now skewed. There is part of truth in her response, but her mind had already been dwelling on Satan’s lies, so her words got twisted. From that point, Eve believed the enemy’s lies and reacted to his suggestion rather than listening to the Voice of love and intimacy.
In one moment mankind went from the fullness of life to mere existence.
Adam and Eve’s reaction to sin is fear, shame, blame and hiding from God. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden,” Genesis 3:8. The fall introduced shame, blame, and fear.
The Father’s reaction to their sin was to come toward Adam & Eve in love and tenderness (like the Luke 15 parable). “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’.
He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid,” Genesis 3:9.
The Father’s words to Adam & Eve, “Who told you that you were naked?” WHO TOLD YOU?
There had never been another voice speaking to Adam & Eve until Satan enters the garden scene. Adam acted in fear because he had lost the courage that only love can compel.
Think about our children who are confident and believe they can do anything and everything. They have confidence because mom and dad define them. A couple weeks ago in my class devotion time, the journal question was to: “Write out the things you do well and your gifts & talents. Spend some time thanking the Father in heaven for giving these to you.” And a few of my kids said, “This is going to take a while. I do so many things well.” Yes, that is what we want our kids to believe. But there is a day when our kids (and you and I) will be told by another voice that we don’t do something well or God isn’t good like He says He is (or some other misidentifying who God is and who we are).
Who told you you were too small?
Who told you you weren’t an artist?
Who told you you weren’t smart?
Who told you God wasn’t faithful?
Who told you God doesn’t love you?
Who told you you weren’t enough?
Who told you you don’t matter to God?
And on and on…
Here are three practicals to live in the design of connection to the Father’s voice? Our actions/lifestyle shows whose voice we agree with.
1.TRUST THE TRUTH. The Word of God is the authority and the source of Truth. Jesus is the Word made flesh and He has much to say about every area of your life. The enemy always misidentifies God saying we can’t trust Him or we don’t need Him. We need to remember that God is good. He is better than we think. Eve made the tragic mistake of listening, dwelling & believing the enemy’s lying voice. The enemy has no other tongue: He is a liar and the father of lies. What do we need to do to guard from His voice?
2.DEPENDENCY ON GOD. Find His smile. Listen for His voice.
3.PRACTICE REPENTANCE. Keep yourself yielded to God. Run to the Father when you sin, fail, are disappointed or discouraged. Don’t hide from Him. Don’t blame Him or turn your face from Him.
I am going to end with the same questions I started with: Whose voice defines you? Whose smile defines you? Whose approval are you living for? The voice you listen to is the voice that defines you. We were created to live for God’s voice!
Questions to ponder: