A good starting place in this School of the Spirit is the lessons we can learn from the original couple, Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis 3. After they tasted the forbidden fruit, God came looking for some fellowship with Adam and Eve—to walk and talk with them (as He does with you and me). I wrote previously about what this must have been like:
Can you imagine, after Adam and Eve had known God, and He knew them, how quickly the spiritual climate changed? As a result of their disobedience, they experienced instantaneous barriers to their intimacy with Him. Walls shot up. After their sin they plucked off leaves from the nearest bush as quickly as they could and sewed coverings for themselves. They were hiding from the Lord their Creator for the first time in their lives.
But God, in His passionate pursuit, was still drawing close. A new reaction stirred within them as He drew near. Previously they had run toward the sound of His footsteps. Now they ran in the opposite direction. Before, their response had been for joy: “Oh, wow, it’s Father!” Now it was dread and fear: “Oh, no, it’s Father!” They were guilt-ridden. Never had they had such an emotional reaction or even such a thought before! They had not known condemnation or fear or shame. Now, as a result of their disobedience, they ran and hid from the voice of God.
This pretty well sums up the difference between the joy of hearing God and obeying His voice and the dilemma of hearing God’s voice and not obeying.
Here’s the good news: God is searching for us. He is drawing near, whether we want Him to or not! He is the glorious intruder. God does not give up on His beloved; He wants to walk and talk with you. But there can be some sad news also, barriers to intimacy result when we choose to ignore what He tells us. So let’s listen up and learn. We need Him. We need to hear His voice. Let’s cultivate a heart and life that responds when He speaks.