"So sensitive is the ear, so susceptible to the least change of tone, that we at once recognize a familiar voice, though we see not the speaker." (Gordon Hargrave)
When we come in the door after being away, we call out to our loved ones. "I'm home." Right away they know who it is who is calling. They recognize the person by the voice. Wouldn't it be awful if everyone in the world had the same tone of voice?
Jesus talks about the sheep hearing the voice of the shepherd, and recognizing it: John 10: 2b & 3 - "He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice."
Have you ever stopped to think what it is about a voice that makes us recognize the speaker? Jacob tried to fool his blind father into thinking that it was Esau talking to him, in Genesis 27. He put on Esau's clothes, put goat's hair on his arms and neck, because he had smooth skin, while his twin brother was a hairy man. But it was his voice that almost gave him away (and would have, except for some more clever deception by Jacob), when he went in to Isaac to receive the blessing, researved for the eldest son in the family. Since Esau came out of the womb before Jacob, although Jacob held on to his twin brother's heel, he was considered the eldest son. (Read the story.) Mary Magdalene, when she was distraught at Jesus' graveside, at discovering Jesus was not there, questioned whom she thought was the gardener. John 20:15. But as soon as she heard the voice, she recognized it to be the voice of the Lord.
The marvelous thing about a voice is, each one's voice is distinct. I call up my sister, and a male voice answers. Because I am not used to hearing the men on the phone I have a hard time recognizing if it is my brother-in-law, or one of their twin sons. Their voices all sound alike to me. But not to my sister. She knows each of their voices. She doesn't even have a hard time telling which of the twins is speaking, even though she may not be in the same room as they are. She knows them by their voice.
"We can hear with our ears only a limited range of sound-waves because our ears are only tuned to these sounds. And we can hear with our hearts only those notes to which our hearts are attuned."
Anyone, by use of electricity, may hear the footsteps of a fly. If the ear can be so quickened by an unseen force, so can the spirit be quickened beyond all natural understanding, by the Spirit of God. But we must be attuned to the right frequency. Of course, we are not likely to want to hear the footsteps of a fly, so we are not likely to go further to prove it. I haven't proven it. I just took someone's word for it. The same can be true of hearing with our soul. Unless we go to the right source, we will never be attuned to hearing God speaking to us. John 3:5 - "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." This I have proven. Because I became attuned to the voice of God, and accepted His spirit, I now recognize the voice of His Spirit when He speaks.
David said: "Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning, for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee." Psalm 143:8. This verse shows both aspects of hearing: with the ear and with the soul.
When I was growing up, and my dad would say something, it was so easy to turn a deaf ear if it wasn't something we wanted to hear. His standard answer to us when he would be upset with us for not hearing what he had said was: "There's none so 'deef' as those that will not hear." Yes. We have ears to hear, but we don't always listen. God gave us two ears for a reason. If we can't hear out of one, we have a back-up. Let's fine-tune our ears. Let us listen to the footsteps of a fly.
Oh God, may I know Your voice when You speak.
May my ear be attuned to your call.
Teach me , Oh Lord, the way I should take.
Lift me up, whenever I fall.
Give me ears that will hear Your soft, whispered words.
Give me grace to quietly wait.
When my soul is in trouble, I know You'll be there
Standing, waiting, just outside the gate.
The Shepherd stands at the gate, waiting for the last straying sheep. The sheep know it is the Shepherd because they recognize his voice. John 10:3 - "To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name."
© Helen Dowd