“My sheep give heed to My voice and I know them and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
The sad truth is that many Christians do not hear the voice of the Shepherd; there is a reason for this. The main reason is that they prefer to hear the voice of men, not God, since it leaves them with the choice of either heeding, or ignoring, what is said. After all, men can get it wrong can’t they, and who is to say that what the voice of the preacher is saying is really the voice of God? So goes the rationale and we can be comfortable in the thought that we are not in dispute with God, but only a fellow mortal man, allowing us to go on in our independent way.
This is what happened to the Jews; “and they said to Moses, ‘Speak thou to us, and let not God speak to us, lest we die’” (Exodus 20:19). They knew that to disobey God was death, but Moses was a mortal man, like them, and they could safely disobey him.
In the deepest depths of the secret places of the heart, men do not want to hear from God, lest in their willful disobedience, they die, for they know that to willfully continue in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth means that there is no longer a sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26). But, of course, it is absolute folly to think that by ignoring God’s voice in favour of the voice of man, we are in some way exempt from responsibility.
These self deceptions take place in the realm of the subconscious; there is no conscious disobedience of God; we simply don’t hear what He is saying; the voice of man and the doctrines of men are our hiding place from hearing the voice of God and, thus, having to choose either to obey or to disobey.
This thinking is itself a reflection of the inadequate picture of God carried about in modern Christianity; He is there to do things for us; that is the whole relationship; whereas, if we truly know Him and love Him, we will be anxious and vigilant to listen for His voice that we might demonstrate our love in our obedience.