Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says.
"Now it shall be, if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God." (Marginal Version NAS)
Our whole destiny for well-being or for disaster is settled by the voice that we listen to. Listening to the voice of the Lord and obeying what He says will bring blessing. But not listening to the voice of the Lord will bring many curses.
Of course, it is not sufficient to listen to the voice of the Lord unless we also obey what He says. But conversely, it's impossible to obey what God says unless we first hear His voice, because it is His voice that tells us what He requires us to do.
The great spiritual danger that confronts so many professing Christians is that they have become insensitive to the voice of God. They may continue in their religious activities and duties, but it is all something that is habitual and formal, just a matter of a life pattern and of habits that they have cultivated, but there isn't that ongoing, continuous awareness of God's voice. You see, through all dispensations the one thing that God asks of His people is this: that we listen to His voice.
For instance, this is stated clearly by the Lord Himself in Jeremiah 7:22-23. In these verses, God explains what He really required of Israel when He brought them out by redemption from Egypt. He says that the first thing He had in mind was not the keeping of the law or the offering of sacrifices, but listening to His voice. Now His voice would lead them to keep the Law and to offer the sacrifices.
But on the other hand, merely observing the externals of the Law and offering the sacrifices was of no avail to them if they were not doing it as a result of listening to the voice of the Lord. The key requirement of God is that we listen to His voice. Hear what God says there in Jeremiah 7:22-23:
"For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people...'" (NAS)
Notice the simple requirement that the Lord may be our God and that we may be His people, "Obey My voice and I will be your God..." That's summing it up as simple as it's possible to sum it up.
Now you might think that it is different in the New Testament, but it's not. The principle is exactly the same. Jesus sums it up in one single verse in John 10:27:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me..." (NAS)
The mark that we really belong to Jesus is not that we practice a certain denominational pattern of life or that we worship in a certain building, but it's that we hear His voice; and hearing His voice, that we follow Him. That's the mark of true believers in all races and in all ages, in all denominations. It's not something external, but it's an inner personal relationship with the Lord that enables us to hear His voice and hearing His voice, to follow where He leads us.
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to follow You, I love my Shepherd’s voice! I know You will lead me in green pastures and unto still waters. I know and trust You Lord, that even when there’s a dark valley, You will be there to comfort and guide me. Thank You for protecting me and leading me in Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotional is taken from: Claiming our Inheritance
Also recommended: Called to Conquer - Discover your personal assignment from God