’He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:47 (NIV)
Jesus is surrounded by people who struggle to look at the Son of God as they should. He tries to help them see that they have their orientation wrong. He tries to point out to them that they have their origins confused. They speak boldly of being devoted to God. They pride themselves on their connection to Him. They boast of their firmly held beliefs. They take confidence in the title they hold of being the children of God. But Jesus still tries to open their eyes. It is useless. Those bent on their own agendas refuse to see. Those who do not truly have God in mind are blind. They do not see that their persistent endeavors to assert themselves and gratify themselves will never please Him. They please a father that they don´t even expect they have. Those who forget to be charitable, no matter how lofty their intentions, cannot ever make God happy. They may not see it, but they please a much darker father. What does Jesus give them to help them see which father they belong to?
Christ states that those who belong to God will hear what He says. At the same time He says that if we do not hear, than it is because we do not yet belong to God. Is this big dividing line? Is it a clear one? What does it say to us today? Do we live in an era that lends itself to listening? Or do we prefer action? How much time to we modern Christians spend listening to God? We could possibly stand to listen to our favorite preacher or uplifting songs at times, but does this mean we hear His voice? Are the messages of God reaching us personally? Do we hear His words speaking to us individually? Do we know He is directing Himself to us? Are we responsive as children are with their own Father? Is there a familiarity that proves we are close? Is there love and care demonstrated in our intentions? Do we truly have the things of God in mind? Or is there a chance that we still march forward with our own agendas in mind? Are we secretly bent on gratifying some other ideal in some way? Are we failing to hear the voice of God because unbeknown to us, we are serving a lesser Father?
What reaction do we have when confronted with a question like this? When we hear someone question our relation to God, what do we feel? Do we crisply defend ourselves before someone who doubts our connection to Him? Do we get upset that someone would challenge our right to be heirs in the Kingdom of God? Or do we slip quietly away to find a place to pray? Do we excuse ourselves and seek the reassurance of our Heavenly Father? Do we find that we desperately need to hear from Him what He will say about our closeness to Him? Will we refuse to rest until we hear His sweet voice booming in our ears? Do we need to hear personally that we have truly wanted to see Him lifted up? Will our every last breath be given in an effort to please the Father we know and love? Can we hear Him whispering to us now? Is it His voice that comforts us and eases the painful thought of not belonging to Him? Or is the voice that shouts out its retort coming from ourselves or a secret tie to a lower and darker father? Who do we belong to? How can we tell?
Dear Father in Heaven, we smart at the incriminating question of where our loyalty lies. When confronted with who our Father truly is, we need to hear Your verdict. Pull us close as a Father does His children. Take us in Your arms and tell us that it is our deep need to hear directly from You that distinguishes us as belonging truly to You. Whisper to us now, we pray.