Faith Listens to the Voice of God
Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith is a fundamental faculty in the life and being of a child of God. Faith is the means by which the righteous live. "The just shall live by faith" (Hebrews 10:38). Moreover, without having faith, one cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). In other words, both righteous living, which is the essence of the life of a child of God, and pleasing God, which is the principal purpose of the life of a child of God, depend on faith.
Therefore the child of God cannot afford to neglect the developing and sustaining of faith. And so, an important question is what develops or sustains faith? The Bible's answer is plain. The Bible tells us “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Hearing or listening to the word of God develops and sustains our faith in God. To live by faith and to please God by faith we must be attentive to the word of God. The word of God is spirit and it quickens and gives life to its hearers. Called to walk by faith, we must be constantly on guard that we keep our ears tuned in to the voice of God and not be distracted by the voice of the adversary, who seeks to rob us of purposeful and fulfilled living by destroying our faith.
In the Garden of Eden, Eve listened to the voice of the devil and ignored the voice of God and brought the downfall of the human race. Throughout the history of man the adversary through various subtle forms has constantly sought to draw God's people's attention away from the word of God to voices which deny or distort the truth of the word of God. One classical example we will consider here concerns Abraham and Sarah.
God spoke to Abraham and told him He would give him a son through whose lineage the Messiah, the Son of God would descend. Bringing forth a son would have been no extraordinary matter for Abraham if only, as the years came and went, he did not discover that his wife Sarah was barren.
It is at this point when God has spoken and we have clearly heard His voice but things are not working out the way we expect them to work out for us to bring about what God has declared that we become vulnerable to tuning in to other voices which seem to distort or deny the truth of what God has said. We read in Genesis 16:2: “So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.”
God speaks in the supernatural. Men and devils cannot speak at that level. When we choose to heed to the voice of men or devils rather than the voice of God we descend from the supernatural and Divine into the plain of carnality and corruption. The voice of devils deceives and lies about the truth of God's word, like it did to Eve. The voice of man distorts and reduces the supernatural element of the truth of the word of God to human reasoning and human possibility, like in the case of Sarah and Abraham. The voices of men and devils, therefore, ill-feed and enfeeble faith and make faith unimportant. But the voice of the word of God stirs up faith to grasp the impossible with God-inspired conviction that "all things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23).
Abraham listened to the voice of Sarah. And with a faith weakened by the voice of man he collaborated with Sarah to distort and reduce God’s supernatural plan to a human produced child. This child, far from being the promised child from whom the Messiah would descend, brought unhappiness to the relationship between Abraham and Sarah and unceasing conflict among Abraham’s descendants.
If, as God has promised us, we are to live the supernatural life of the Son of God and experience the realities of the Kingdom realm we will have to live by faith fed and sustained by the supernatural truth of the word of God. Many who once heard the voice of God declaring the supernatural and by faith pressed into the truth of God have today fallen to the level where the voice of men and devils have replaced faith with human reasoning and falsehood. They are now convinced either that what God said would happen could never happen or that there are more realistic humanly achievable variations of the supernatural which God offered. But the indisputable truth remains that what God has spoken no man or devil can reverse.
Thankfully, God is so merciful and gracious that He is always willing to restore us to the place where we are ready to rise again to the level of the supernatural and by faith listen to His voice with a firm belief that with God all things are possible. Jesus said: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). God did just that for Abraham and Sarah. He spoke to them again in the realm of the supernatural. And although at this time their condition and circumstances rendered God's declaration more impossible for them (Abraham by then could no longer produce the seed of life, being a hundred years old, and Sarah herself was 90 years old) yet they were ready to hear and listen to the voice of God and by faith believe the impossible to be possible with God.
Isaac the promised son was born eventually to Abraham and Sarah by supernatural means as God had spoken. The Holy Spirit describing the level of faith in the supernatural that Abraham and Sarah had risen to states in Romans 4:19-21: “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” And also we read in Hebrews 11:11: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
Their faith listened to the voice of God and God enabled them to experience the supernatural reality of the truth of His word. We read in Genesis 21:1-2: “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”