hearing god: hearing + knowing

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5:00 AM

The topic of hearing God and following the Holy Spirit has been surfacing around me. It has made me question how many people have yet to experience the voice of God, especially those who are in the church now, as well as those yet to set their hope in Jesus. I have been praying about what do to with this knowledge to bring about the awareness and beautiful intimacy that hearing God has on us and God lead me to some wonderful ladies I met through the Allume Conference, who are brave and bold and willing to share their story of how they have come to hear the voice of God through this series. It is not a list of "how tos" or of verses on hearing God or things of the sort. Just an honest, open discussion of the telling of their story. Of their journey to the place where God's voice is the one they listen to. You can find the entire series here. 


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The Jews gathered around Jesus and asked if he was the Christ, the Messiah and his response was:

“I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me,  but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:25-30

This is just after he says he is the good shepherd and explains that means. (A side note: if you have ever wondered about sheep, Ken Davis has a funny and great perspective about them on this episode of Focus on the Family.

In some translations, John 10:27 says listen instead of hear but in order to listen, we first must be able to hear. Hearing leads to listening, which results in an option of obedience on the part of the listener.

Hearing and listening changes everything. It is as though a parent asks her child to do chores but the child cannot hear due to all the noise around and therefore is not listening. The chores never get done and the child goes about his business playing. When the noise quiets down and the child is able to hear again, the parent can ask again and this time the child is listening, the parent has his attention. The results of the chores are up to the obedience of the child, since he has now heard the instruction.

In this verse, the Greek word for hear is akouō and defined by the Blue Letter Bible as: 
  • to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
  • consider what is or has been said a thing comes to one's ears, 
  • to find out, learn, to give ear to a teaching or a teacher
  • to comprehend, to understand

Hearing is a considering of what is being said and an understanding of what is spoken. It is an opening of our ears, for we are no longer deaf but able to hear God and his teachings. 

In the Greek for this verse, the word know is ginōskō, which the Blue Letter Bible describes as:
  • to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
  • to become known
  • to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
  • to understand; know 
  • Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman to become acquainted with, to know
This definition of knowing is more than an acquaintance basis but a coming to be known and known intimately, like that of a husband and a wife, in regards to the sexual idiom used in the context. We may know someone and be on speaking terms with them but not know them fully or personally intimately. We do not know what their hearts are like or what things draws their attention or what is important to them or what keeps them up at night. God knows us like this and when we are his sheep, hearing his voice, the intimacy of  relationship leads us to knowing him in this context. 

We can know about God but until we reach the point of intimately knowing him and listening and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us and transform, we will live a life far from God, despite our best efforts and religious practices. Or until God gets your attention in another way. 

Here's to listening and hearing and knowing. 
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