Want to Bear Better Fruit? Learn to Hear the Master's Voice

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One of the most exciting things for me to experience is when watching what happens when people I love hear and obey the voice of G-D in their lives and see the blessing and fruit that comes from listening to His voice. There is a special feeling of fulfillment within them that is visible. The Bible tells us in John 10:27 (TLV): "My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me."

So as His sheep, we should all learn to know His voice and how to follow Him. I say learn how to follow Him because it is possible to do what G-D says while at the same time not be following him. I know that may seem contradictory, but allow me to explain. There are times when G-D speaks to us that we have to determine when and how we are to follow. One example of this can be found in Exodus 25:1-2:

"Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 'Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering.'"

In these verses, we find G-D speaking to Israel and telling them to take up and offering to build the tabernacle. His words are simple: Take an offering from all who are compelled or willing to give to build the tabernacle. As we read on, we find that the children of Israel responded so generously that in Exodus 36:6-7 we read:

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So Moses gave an order, and they proclaimed it throughout the camp saying, "Let neither man nor woman make anything else as an offering for the Sanctuary." So the people were restrained from bringing more. For the work material they had was sufficient for all the work, with much left over.

But in between Exodus 25 and Exodus 36 is Exodus 32, when the children of Israel followed what G-D said but didn't follow G-D:

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "Get up, make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what's become of him!"

So Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden rings that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me." So all the people broke off the golden rings that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. He received them from their hand, and made a molten calf, fashioned with a chiseling tool.

Then they said, "This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt!"

Notice that when the children of Israel didn't hear from G-D through Moses, they reverted to what they had heard previously. So they took up and offering from those with a willing heart and used it to build a golden calf. The similarities between the collection for the golden calf and the collection for the tabernacle are clear. Both offerings were given willingly and received from the people. Both followed a pattern or example spoken by G-D to Israel. However, when Israel took up the offering to build the tabernacle, they did what G-D said and followed Him; but when they built the golden calf, they did what G-D had said, but they did not follow Him in doing so.

The point I am trying to make is that too often, believers take what G-D said out of the context of what He said and then apply it to our lives in the way we want. When we do this, we end up with a golden calf instead of a tabernacle.

Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer and Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians.

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