I had a psychologist friend tell me once that he could have me committed because I heard voices and did what they told me. We both laughed. He was (emphasizing the past tense) a member, but did not accept the principle of continuous personal revelation.
This should come as no shock to anyone – but to the world, to the Babylonian mind, this concept of hearing and obeying personal revelation is foolishness. The only reason they don’t have us all institutionalized is because they view this “voice” as originating from the fleshly mind. They consider it to be the voice our own ego (or some psycho-term I choose to forget) and therefore no more insightful or dangerous than our conscious thoughts.
So, since I’m certifiable anyway, I’m going to up the ante a bit.
Not only does this “voice” lead us in a pathway that blesses and preserves us, but accompanying it is an actual power that upgrades and changes us. Each time we obey, this upgrading influence pushes us a little closer to becoming like the origin of the voice – Christ.
To my soul, to my heart, this is the greatest aspect of obedience to the Master. It isn’t just that life is happier, it is that we become stronger, more faith-filled, easier to be taught, more insightful and inspired, our understanding of the doctrine of the priesthood evolves upward. We slowly begin to understand things that were invisible and mysterious previously. The heavens begin to open. Visions leak through. Dreams become prophetic. Our separate ministries become focused and powerful. Our words become His words, and our works, His works.
Not only this, but even better still, is that by this very small but powerful process of obedience to the voice of Christ in small daily things, we become sanctified.
When I write principles like this I want to italicize them, bold them, underline them, and change the font color. It is so easy to miss such a simple and sublimely powerful concept. It is the steady, undeviating, daily obedience to Christ that sanctifies. If there is a great event, an overpowering grand finale, it is appended to this apparently lesser process to illuminate the blessings being gifted to the humble seeker.
It is almost impossible to walk a selfish and self-willed lifestyle, feel needy, kneel down and pray all through the night, and then stand up the next morning a sanctified, inspired and perfected soul. Even when there is a heralded event, that person spent years prior to this event walking in obedience, struggling to overcome, yearning for grace to pierce the veil, and at the apex of that struggle, broke through during mighty prayer. Even then, this event was the result of a long walk of faith. The very power to pray mightily, to petition all night, to endure with faith until it comes, is a result of the slower process of years of incremental obedience.
We have a tendency to expect vast and glorious things to result from an isolated, vast and glorious effort.
Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Obedience is the only pathway that will bring us to Christ. Any other combination of acts, works or sacrifices which did not originate with obedience to the voice of The Master, will take us somewhere else.
The wonderful thing is, this same principle operates for every gift we hope to receive. This makes obedience the coin of the realm, which can be spent over and over and over. It purchases every gift, and opens every door, and vends every blessing mankind can receive.
Every spiritual gift is bestowed upon the humble, weak and struggling souls whose long but obedient walk has taken them to the throne of grace to receive what they seek, not upon the lollygagging sinner who suddenly decided to give Christ a try at a rest stop on the interstate to Babylon.