Eve could hear God’s voice in the Garden. God is Spirit, and only spirit can hear Spirit. Jesus draws our attention to hearing in John 8 when discussing with the Pharisees. He is basically saying that we are reflections of whose voice we hear. Either the spirit of error or God depending on who is our father/Father. In other words, we are reflections of either darkness or light. Jesus explicitly told the disciples that He only did what He saw and heard His Father was doing.
Plainly and in words that cannot be misunderstood the Spirit informs us by Paul that satan’s relation to us now is that of a roaring lion, which is another way of saying that he hasn’t any foothold in us anymore. He is on the outside. God is on the inside. John hammers all this home when he writes that as He are so are we in this world. This startling truth puts us in the same position as Jesus. We only do as we see and hear our Father is doing. On the spirit level our Father is always speaking and we hear His voice because spirit hears Spirit, and because we are one spirit with our Father, that is, one person with God.
On the appearance level it is usually on a distance impossible to tell whether a person is a reflection of this or that. Our bodies and exterior give no hints of to whom we belong. It can even be difficult to tell by a person’s actions if he belongs to Christ or not. Often it is only a person’s personal testimony that tells us what he is. When Jesus told us to make righteous judgments He plainly told us to see beyond the apparent. When we belong to God all of our faculties and appetites are made right in Him, whether it is desire, mind, thoughts or emotions. Again, making righteous judgments is our business.
Desire is the driving force in all of life. Jesus revealed a three step model in John 15: You shall desire, you shall request and it will be created unto you (John 15:7). The context is Jesus telling the disciples that He is the true vine (making it clear that there is also a false vine) and we the branches, and, further, that without Him we can nothing. Moreover, when we abide in Him (which we do by faith. We can in fact say that it is His faith that makes us abide in Him) we will bear much fruit. We are not on thin ice if we say that Jesus in this passage is making a strong link between fruits and desire.
To be a person means that we are confronted with choices all from the most mundane and trivial to the big choices of life. The one choice that affects all other choices is the one concerning which deity we want to belong. When that is settled Jesus’ own words stand before us: To the Pharisees: “Your desire is to do the will of your father.” About Himself: “My meat is to do the will of my Father.” Again, all boils down to whose voice we hear.
Yesterday evening I was marveling at faith again. Are we to wait for some sort of inner confirmation or some experience before we have the boldness to act as God in situations or when we see a need? It struck me with force that one of the qualities of faith is that it acts as if a thing is true without having any outer proofs it is so, save what the Bible tells us. What I mean is that we can with boldness speak our words of faith or pray with great confidence only based on a simple belief. Faith more often than not feels like walking in thin air as if there is nothing holding us. Of course there is, because it is God acting and speaking as us. Do we dare to believe it is actually so?
Only God knows how much I have wrestled with these questions. And I believe He has meant me to wrestle with them. What I find in me is what I call the stubbornness of faith. I cannot go back on my words of faith. That is impossible. Doubt can come over me in huge waves. The most critical of these doubts is the one claiming I have spoken out of myself. My problem is that if give this thought right I have stepped out of union, as it were. I cannot do that. Whether the thing happens or not I have only one alternative: I have spoken God’s word. Man or devil may say the opposite but the stubbornness of faith can never give any of those right. This stubbornness is nothing else than me hearing God.
This brings us right into temptation. These temptations or doubts are really our friends even though it doesn’t feel that way. They squeeze or press us into faith finding to our surprise that there is Something greater than us holding us in a fixed position of faith. Temptations truly fix us in who we are. They truly prove that we are kept and upheld by God. We genuinely hear His voice. The spirit/Spirit union is a fact. What is usually too deep for us is proved to us by temptations. No wonder James said that we are to count various temptations as joy. Not feel them as joy, because they sure do not feel like joy.