In Deuteronomy, Moses reveals that the key to all God’s blessings is hearing and obeying His voice:
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NKJV)
Notice, twice Moses says that the key condition is hearing and obeying the voice of God. He says if you do that, “all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you.” You do not need to pursue the blessings; they will pursue you if you cultivate hearing the voice of God.
On the other hand, a little further on, in verse 15, he warns that if we fail to hear the voice of the Lord our God, it will be the exact opposite: instead of blessings it will be curses.
But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (Deuteronomy 28:15 NKJV)
So, failure to hear and obey the voice of the Lord brings upon us all the curses; hearing and obeying brings all the blessings. That is the watershed between blessing and cursing. We can either hear and obey the voice of the Lord, or we can fail to hear and obey the voice of the Lord.
In Jeremiah, the Lord lays down the key condition for being His people. He says to Israel:
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 or sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them, saying, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people.” (Jeremiah 7:22–23 NKJV)
God is saying here that the ordinances of the law relating to the temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifices are secondary. The first thing that He required of His people when He brought them out of Egypt was not sacrifice, offering, or a lot of legal requirements. Rather, He required them to hear and obey His voice. By implication, He is saying that the sacrifices are good if they proceed out of hearing His voice, but if the people were to merely offer sacrifices without hearing His voice, it would not qualify them to be His people. They would be His people only if they would hear and obey His voice.
That is the most concise statement in Scripture about what it is to be God’s people: “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people” (Jeremiah 7:23 NKJV). And this does not change in the New Testament, where the condition for belonging to Jesus Christ is just the same. Jesus states it very simply in John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (NKJV).
Who are “My sheep”? They are the people of Jesus. They are not necessarily Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Methodists, or any other particular denomination. The people who belong to Jesus are the people who hear His voice and follow Him. If you do not hear His voice, you cannot follow Him. That is always the mark of God’s true people: they hear His voice.
Thank you Father, that You do not make difficult demands on me and that I do not have to focus on keeping all kinds of rules but that I can simply follow You by listening to your voice. Amen!
This devotional is taken from