As we learn to hear our Father’s voice we must also continue to grow and mature as our Father’s children. Jesus Christ demonstrated the kind of relationship with the Father that the Father desires with each of His children. Jesus spent time communicating with the Lord in prayer, but was always conscious of the presence of the Father; Jesus did only what the Father desired to be done, and lived in the confidence that He was doing precisely what the Father desired that He do. This is the perfect relationship model that each Believer is growing toward. This is the idea expressed in such passages of Scripture as Romans 14:23, “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” It is God’s intent for His children that our every action be what He would have us do; that He can trust us to do only those things that please Him.But that’s not to say that we cannot act unless we actually hear God’s voice.
Part of maturing is learning to accept responsibility; learning to make decisions that are appropriate and that will be pleasing to the authorities in our life. On a new job, for example, we may be required to complete a training program or an apprenticeship, the purpose of which is to be sure we understand the results, the goals, and the procedures acceptable to and desired by the company owners. During the learning period, someone must approve every action we take and we must refrain from doing anything without first obtaining permission. But as we grow in competence and demonstrate our ability—and our understanding of and faithfulness to the company—we are slowly given increased responsibility to make decisions and take action on our own initiative.
Freedom in the company to make decisions and take action does not mean we can do anything we like. It means we are trusted to everything we should. Company leaders will continue to provide the goals and ultimate purposes, examine our actions for conformity to the company practices, and make suggestions to hone our skills. We will have meetings with leaders to be reminded of the company vision and learn new skills, so that we can be trusted with more responsibility and allowed to make ever more important decisions.
And so it is in a family. And so it is in a nation. And in our Father’s family, and our Father’s Kingdom.
Our relationship with our Heavenly Father should be more comfortable and more natural than our best human relationships. It might be likened to the easy interaction between close friends or evident in a long marriage, where there may be a phone call just to say, “Hi;” but which may include times of silence and even being apart—sometimes for extended times. But there is always an awareness of the other. There is always the sense of pleasing the other, and a repugnance of doing or saying or acting in any way to displease the other. This desire to please is not based on a need for acceptance or approval; those issues have long been settled. It flows from appreciation for and love of the other. Actions are usually not the result of agonizing and fretting about what should be done or how the other person will react; they are a spontaneous and natural response based on knowledge and understanding gained from communication and interaction. It is to be a relationship of trust.
As children of our Heavenly Father, we delight in Him. We talk with Him. We listen to Him. We love Him. Our greatest joy is pleasing Him. Our highest calling is serving Him.
And He delights in us.
“I speak to you as my friends.” John 15:15 CEV