Knowing God changes how you listen.
Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice.” John wrote a similar type thing in the sixth verse.
6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6–ESV)
I mentioned above that I want language fluency. While no one can change their parentage adoption is an option. We enter the family of God when we submit to his offer. John says, “We are from God.” By this, he means we are in God’s family now.
God gives a new language enabling people to understand him. In the church are many who have accepted the grace-message, the atonement. They have taken off the opinion necklaces and left them at Christ’s cross. With their new life picked up they hear God’s voice. They listen to words like John, and his colleagues share.
Knowing God changes how you listen. It does not immediately and permanently eradicate doubt and worry as the God-life is a faith-life. John’s words here teach how to recognize ways that are God’s and ways that are not. “Use the tools of the Holy Spirit and the explanations of the apostles, and you will know right from wrong, truth from error.” That is what John is saying. That is what they needed, and we need.
God gives us a new language. It will take a while until we gain fluency in it, but like everything, practice makes perfect…especially when God is in it.