“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.” Hebrews 11:26
God is speaking all the time. It is His primary way to be known. He has chosen to reveal Himself so that we can know Him better and love Him more. Through creation, conscience, Christ—by His Word and His Spirit—every day is filled with His voice.
This is not just a Divine mechanical process because God knows it must work this way. It is His passion. He loves His family. Really loves us. He longs for us, wants to talk with us, cherishes our time together. And He cares about our every step.
You might say to God, “I didn’t think you’d care what I did,” or, “I thought your only interest was to supervise or reprimand me,” but you would be wrong. He wants companionship, not just obedience. When He speaks it is to help you, guide you, encourage you more than your greatest friend. It is not just His words He wants you to interact with, but Him.
When you are initiating a relationship, being refused feels awful. Talk to those who have had a spouse leave them. They will tell you that it is worse than death. The death of one you are deeply connected to is excruciating, but it is natural, understandable, and explainable. When a spouse elects to leave you, the loss and loneliness must be dealt with, but there is the additional pain of rejection—the worst human emotion.
Notice that the admonition of this verse in Hebrews is not about rejecting God’s words, but rejecting Him. “Do not refuse Him who is speaking.”
God is not like us. His emotions are perfect and His understanding is complete. But He still calls for us not to refuse Him. He knows it is not good for either party. When we fail to fully respond to this perfect Father it always leads to difficulties, if not disaster. God longs to protect us from this because He loves us. Each time we listen and embrace what He is saying, we come to know Him more and love Him better.
Many of us in North American Christianity have the amazing ability to act like we’re hearing something, even parrot it back, but then allow it to have no effect on our lives. We are adept at this hypocrisy. We are hearing with our ears and even some of our mind, but not responding to what we hear or to the one who is speaking. When we do this with God, it is a deadly practice that practically and emotionally distances us from the One who loves us. Oft repeated it creates a pseudo relationship that coats our conscience for a moment but does nothing to change our lives or cement our connection with the Father. We are refusing what God is saying, but more foundationally, we are rejecting an intimate relationship with the only One who loves us in the way our soul desires.