Our destinies, for good or ill, are settled by the voice we choose to heed. Listening to the voice of the Lord and obeying what He says will bring blessings. Ignoring the voice of the Lord will bring many curses. It is impossible to obey God without first hearing His voice, for His voice tells us what He requires.
Many professing Christians are insensitive to the voice of God. We may continue our religious activities and duties, but they are habitual and formal—just patterns we have cultivated that lack a constant awareness of God’s voice. Through all dispensations, God asks His people to listen to His voice.
In Jeremiah 7, God explained what He really required of Israel when He redeemed them from Egypt. The first thing He had in mind was not keeping the Law for the offering of sacrifices but listening to His voice. It was His voice that would lead them to keep the Law and offer the necessary sacrifices. Merely observing the externals of the Law was of no avail if they were not doing so as a result of hearing the voice of the Lord. The key requirement of God is that we listen to His voice.
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)
The simple requirement is, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God.” That sums it up as simply as possible.