MM00038 Whose voice are you heeding
Mentoring Manna: Whose voice will you heed?
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Genesis 3:17 “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” Adam and Eve were in the perfect paradise called the Garden of Eden. God had given them only one commandment: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” However, Eve heeded the voice of the Serpent and ate of the forbidden fruit. Adam then heeded the voice of his wife and ate of it also. As Adam and Eve discovered, it is very important which voice you heed. The people to whom we choose to listen can influence us for good or for bad. Their ideas, opinions, and counsels will exert great influence upon the choices we make. Influence can come from a spouse, a child, a close friend, a group of peers, or an employer. For Adam, the influence of his wife caused him to heed her voice rather than the voice of the Lord. Both he and his wife were expelled from the Garden as a result. Granted, not all influence is bad. However, any voice of any influence that directly contradicts the clear command of God must not be heeded. In another situation, God told Abram that he and his wife would bear a child. Because of her age and impatience, Sarai proposed an alternate plan to give Abram her maidservant Hagar to bear the promised child. Abram heeded the voice of Sarai and Ishmael was born. Much conflict has resulted in the Middle East because Abram heeded the voice of his wife rather than to wait for God’s plan. In yet another sobering situation, King Saul was given the direct command by God to destroy every Amalekite and all of their possessions. But the people of Israel did not want to do this. They wanted to revel in their victory by bringing back king Agag along with some of the plunder. King Saul feared the people and gave in to their desire. The prophet Samuel confronted him, saying: “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?” King Saul tried to make excuses, but the fact remained: King Saul had heeded the voice of the people rather than God. As a result, he was rejected from being king. In his lament he cried: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” The voices of influence surround us. As we have seen, it is very important whose voice we heed. No matter what people think or say, in the end, the blessing of God rests upon those who heed His voice above the voice of men. Therefore it is important to ask ourselves the following question: “Whose voice will I heed?”
Application: There is great power in influence. If we are not careful, we can allow another person’s voice to have greater authority in our lives than the voice of God. Often we clearly know what is right and wrong, but because of the pressure to conform, we choose to disobey. Many marriage partners have fallen into the trap of heeding the voice of their spouse rather than the voice of the Lord. Many people have heeded the well-reasoned advice of a friend rather than to obey the clear voice of the Lord. Many employees have heeded the voice of their employer above the voice of the Lord. Many pastors have heeded the voice of the congregation rather than to follow the clear direction given to them by God. It is important whose voice we heed. We must choose to fear God rather than men. The pressure may be great and the consequences severe, but in the end, those who heed the voice of the Lord will be blessed.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I choose today to fear You above man. I choose to walk according to Your voice and live according to Your word. Help me to stand in the face of pressure and opposition that may come through people or circumstances. Give me the courage to obey Your voice at any cost. Give me endurance to wait for Your perfect will rather than to be weakened through impatience. I know that in the end, I will be blessed because I have heeded Your voice. I thank You for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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