In this series called “The Hearing Heart”, my goal is to show you and everyone just how easy it is to hear the voice of God. I am not here to tell you what I was told growing up in the church, and how hard it is to hear God, that we have to wait a certain amount of time before He really speaks, that we first have to confess sin, that we have to worship first, or even that we have to speak in tongues for a time in order to hear Him. Let me tell you now: it is easy to hear Him speak. And not only is it easy. It is fun and exciting. I know without a doubt that this will help guide you into deeper relationship with God, and strengthen your walk in Christ because this all comes from knowing Him. You will realize that you have actually been hearing God more than you know. To some, a lot. To others, not so much. The key is found in the very title of the series: the heart.
In the first part of this series, I want to explain what it means to have a hearing heart, why it is so important, and also why the heart is directly connected to hearing God. In other parts of the series, I will explain how easy it is to hear His voice, the many ways we can hear and perceive Him, and the value of having an open heart.
Before I begin, I must explain myself and where I am coming from. As the reader should know, the only reason why I would have any authority to cover such a topic would be if I have personally experienced it myself, walked in it, and have bore fruit from it. Ever since I began understanding this message of mystery revealed, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27), the one thing that God has been talking to me about most is the heart. He has been revealing to me the very nature of my heart, your heart, our hearts. This revelation is understood by understanding the finished work of the cross, in the fact that Jesus took humanity with Him on the cross, and having died to our old sinful nature, we received the forgiveness of sins. And having been raised with Him through the resurrection, we received new life, and having been born again, we took on once again the same form and image of His Son, by which He gave us His Spirit, our guarantee and our promised inheritance.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Eze. 36:26-27).
When Christ came, there was a great exchange. He took out the stony heart, gave us a heart of flesh, and put His Spirit in us, causing us to walk in His ways.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).
Jesus made it clear that the Kingdom had already come, and He has taken residence in us.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit…” (John 7:38-39).
“For this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them…” (Heb. 10:18).
…I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:25-27).
The word “kingdom” simply means “the king’s domain”. The realm of the Kingdom is the realm of the Spirit, which was given to us. It is not a matter of us going to heaven, but realizing heaven already in us. It is and always was our inheritance, and what we should call our home. Because we were born again from above to a living hope, we are regarded as citizens of heaven, sons and daughters of God, in an earthly body. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because He has anointed me…” (Isa. 61:1). Being anointed is being appointed. You and I were appointed as God’s children, as heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ.
Now, we must understand that by Christ words, “It is finished,” we understand that He fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17) and having fulfilled the Law, He also abolished the Law (Eph. 2:15), giving us a new and better way, through Him. And we must understand that when He rose and sat at the right hand of the Father, He established us and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ.
With all of these things said and understood, let me explain why the heart is so highlighted in the way that God has revealed it to me. Because of these things, the heart is actually pure and established in righteousness. It is the mind that can be deceived and swayed to and fro. That is precisely why Paul urges us many times in his letters to renew our minds. Here’s what God shared with me on this: “The renewing of the mind triggers the awakening of the heart.” This is actually what the word “repentance” means in the New Testament: “to change one’s mind”. It is changing the way you think about yourself in accordance to the nature and will of God. To believe that your heart is pure is to believe that Christ’s work was finished. To believe that your heart is wicked and deceived is to believe that Christ’s work is unfinished, that you are still separated from Him, still having a sinful nature, and still trying to do what you can to make yourself clean, make yourself holy, and make yourself blameless with self-righteous, self-sufficient, self-satisfying works (I only speak of these things boldly because I lived out this way of thinking).
Instead of me explaining the depths of the subject of sin, it is necessary that I only explain a few things concerning the heart for the sake of the topic. If God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, in us, and He told us also that we are the light of the world, how is it possible for us to have any sin, “secret sin”, “unconfessed sin”, “sin-crouching-at-the-door sin”, or even darkness in us? Sin-consciousness will keep you from true communion with God and it is a tool the enemy uses to keep you deceived in your thinking so that you believe that you are in some way unforgiven by your Father in heaven. Understand that your very nature in Christ is forgiven, accepted, and loved, and remember that where sin abounds, grace abounds much much more. God doesn’t regard you as a sinner, but as a precious and pure, innocent child. Start seeing yourself as God permanently sees you with your new nature, and don’t allow yourself to stay hidden from God. You are hidden in Him.
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another – He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart form sin, for salvation (Heb. 9:24-28).
For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins…He takes away the first (referring to the old covenant) that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Heb. 10:1-4, 9-14).
Solomon prayed for an understanding heart, and it was pleasing to the Lord that he asked for this thing: “So give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people to discern between good and evil…” (1 Kings 3:9). Let’s look more closely at this word “understanding”: “to hear, to listen, obey” (Strong’s). This word can also be used as “sound”. A more literal translation can be read as this: “So give your servant a hearing heart to judge your people to discern between good and evil…” (1 Kings 3:9). My intention is not for us to pray this way, but to believe that this has already been accomplished in and for us by Christ. If we did not have a new and regenerated heart, there would be no way for us to know the Father’s will, no way for us to know Him, and no way to understand or perceive Him. Jesus told us that His Spirit would guide us into all truth, teaching us all things, and bring to our remembrance all that He said to us (John 14:26, 16:13). God has been telling me that my heart matches His heart, exactly. His heart is my heart. It is His Spirit. He told me this one day:
“The heart matches exactly My heart, that is how one knows My will, how someone knows right from wrong, how one is led by the Spirit – it is their very heart. When the heart is used to being open and sincere, soon enough, the temple, which is you, hears the voice of the Spirit, for they walk in the Spirit. My Spirit is the person of your heart. It is the new you. This is why being led of the Spirit is being led by your heart. You knew that a while back that it was good to listen to your heart, but when you were led astray by another voice, you thought the heart wasn’t right and therefore couldn’t follow it, only for a short time. The enemy doesn’t want people to know that their hearts are already established in truth.”
Again, the only reason why we can grasp His love, His will, and His nature is because of the fact that our hearts is His heart. He put His Spirit in us. We are joined with Christ, made one, and reconciled. “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6). He wouldn’t have told us to love one another if it were not possible. He made it so that we are fully capable and qualified to understand His love the very same way He does, and to demonstrate it how He did it…and with even greater demonstration (John 14:12)!