“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”” (John 8:47 ESV)
“but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.” (John 10:26 ESV)
“For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”” (John 18:37 ESV)
“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)
These passages highlight a liberating truth. That truth is that God is the One that works in the hearts of men so that they can hear His words. The pressure to convert or convince is not ours to carry; carrying this pressure serves as poor motivation to labor faithfully, joyfully & dependently. We should work tirelessly, study faithfully and prepare diligently, but only those who are of God hear God’s words. What a relief! It doesn’t depend “on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:16 ESV). Now, let’s go labor with all of our might because God just might allow us to play a part in His cosmic plan – not because He needs us, but because it glorifies Him to use such an incapable people as us and brings us profound joy in the process!