Hearing the voice of the Lord is a critical part of living in the Reign of God. To hear His voice, however, means that we have to first inquire of Him. That means seeking to get His mind on whatever we are dealing with. Failing to inquire of the Lord can have devastating consequences. Let’s look at a few examples…
Adam & Eve
The Lord explicitly told Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, citing the penalty of death if Adam did (Genesis 2:16 – 17). Adam, in turn, had to pass this information on to Eve after she was created. The day came, however, when an enemy infiltrated the garden and presented Eve with conflicting information, stating that God was actually holding out on her and her husband (Genesis 3:1 – 5). If the first couple would have immediately turned back to the Lord and inquired of Him to confirm or disprove the serpent’s words, the story would have had a much different outcome. Instead, Adam and Eve reasoned things out in their own minds, thus turning a deaf ear to the Lord and plunging all future generations into the sin and darkness we currently experience. Epic fail!
Abram and his wife, Sarai, were childless. It looked as though they would remain this way since they were both advancing in years. One day, however, the Lord declared to Abram that he would have an heir that came from his own body, and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven. Abram believed what the Lord told him (Genesis 15:1 – 6).
Time passed, however, and nothing seemed to be happening. So, eventually, Sarai came up with her own plan to help the Lord out.
And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” Genesis 16:2
At this point Abram should have immediately taken Sarai’s suggestion to the Lord and asked His opinion. What was His response instead?
Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
The result of Abram and Sarai’s action was the creation of a nation that has lived in conflict with their future descendants right up until this day. This is just one of the results of trying to help the Lord out instead of inquiring of Him every step of the way. Epic fail!
The Lord had given explicit instructions to the nation of Israel concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan. They were to make no covenants with the people of the land. Instead, they were to devote them to complete destruction (Deuteronomy 7:1 – 2).
As Israel began their conquest of Canaan, some of the inhabitants came up with a plan to trick them. They put on old clothes, gathered old provisions, and pretended to come from someplace well beyond the borders of Canaan. They said they had come to make a covenant with the Israelites so they would not invade their country as well (Joshua 9:3 – 13).
Once again, Joshua and the Elders of Israel should have immediately taken this matter to the Lord and inquired of Him. If they would have done so, the lies would have been exposed and the story would have turned out very different. What happened instead?
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. Joshua 9:14
So they made a covenant with the deceivers, only to find out afterwards that they were from the very next town. They could not destroy them after covenanting with them not to do so. The result was a group of ungodly people living in the midst of God’s people. I cannot help but wonder if this contributed to Israel’s later downfall. Epic fail!
Something We Cannot Afford
In this critical hour of history, continuing to make the mistakes of the past is something we cannot afford. The consequences of failing to inquire of the Lord not only affects our lives, it can effect the lives of generations to come, as seen in the stories we referenced. The Kingdom of God only advances by the obedience of the King’s subjects. The discipline of consistently inquiring of the Lord is something we must develop if we are to continue effectively living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.