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Are you Closer in the Crowd

"Father, glorify your name!' Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to Him, Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit not mine." John 12:28-30

Towards the end of Jesus earthly ministry, He made several mentions of His intended goal, death on a cross for the redemption, salvation and reconciliation of mankind to God. Interestingly, in this situation while sharing His heart with the crowds, there were so many people. All were within close enough proximity to hear the voice of God, but it was the discernment that was critical in deciphering the voice of God.

As Jesus cried out a prayer to His Father, the response of a voice from heaven was for the benefit of all present, and yet some completely missed it.

All they thought they heard was thunder. Some understood it a little differently as if a Angel said something to Jesus that only He would understand, and yet some perhaps only a few, certainly the writer of the gospel, John, heard it and KNEW it was a voice from Heaven, the voice of God that distinctly said, ' I have glorified it and I will glorify it again.'

Why the differences?

I don't think it was merely logistical distance, but perhaps, most probably it was spiritual distance.

Certainly John, the one closest, Jesus beloved disciple, a man who had surrendered all, followed fully, dedicated everything to Jesus, was well aware it was GOD who said it and what God had actually said.

It was crystal clear.

The crowd having followed Jesus, did so because they recognized Jesus spoke of good, sensible and beneficial truths that they could apply mentally and practically in their lives as long as things were convenient, comfortable.

Lastly there were those who only heard it as if it were thunder, no sense of personal attachment to the voice, no semblance of a personal interaction with the power and force they heard.

How many times I've missed it, gotten it wrong myself....

Often in discussions with people who are distant from God, they personally don't recognize His voice, His heart towards them, His desire and attempts to connect, interact with and engage them in a dialogue. They recognize a power or force, some ethereal electric emanating source, but not a personal God that wants to love on them and bring them home.

Some get closer, God is Good as long as it is convenient and comfortable, fits in with their lifestyle, choices, justifications etc. They like the benefit they can have by playing what I call the 'God' card. But the personal surrender is not there to the point where they are walking with Him, eating with Him, and allowing themselves to be servants of God at the surrender of their own lives.

Then there are those times that I get it, hearing His voice and I am keenly aware of what He said. We can have those moments where God can make something impeccably clear to our hearts, minds and spirit and we are radically changed, and then like Peter in a moment can say something we think is also God but emanates from somewhere else entirely.

Hey I'm not fully there, sanctification is a process, one in which the purpose is to get us closer and closer to the heart of Jesus that we would be able to Hear the Voice of God and be keenly aware of what He is saying. It is a journey that we choose to walk. One in which we choose the depth of that relationship with each encounter...

ever deeper, stagnant or drawn away...

I want to move closer, How about you?

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