Look, I’m no Moses. I have neither seen the burning bush in the wilderness nor climbed down from the mountain after seeing God face-to-face. I have, however, heard God speak–many times, in fact.
I have seen people roll their eyes, or raise their brows when during conversation I say something like, “and the Lord told me…” I suspect that many Christians have never actually heard the Lord speak. The reason, however, is not that He hasn’t spoken to them–it is that He has spoken and they simply do not know how to hear Him.
So here’s the questions: Do you hear from God? Do you know how He speaks and can you recognize His voice?
All too often, I have heard Christians say that they have never heard from God. God just doesn’t speak to them, they assume. Maybe He speaks to everyone else, but they have never “heard” Him.
Okay, no, I don’t expect God to grab a megaphone and start shouting out life’s step-by-step instructions, but He could if he wanted.
Instead, God communicates to us in varying ways and, once we are clued into those examples, hearing from Him can actually be quite easy.
One way God speaks to us in through a “feeling.” Sounds a little flaky? Well, maybe, but hear me out. There are many times in our Christian life when we will have spent time praying about something in particular. As we wait for an answer, at some point, we might catch ourselves saying something like, ” Well, I don’t have peace about this or that,” or “I feel like this,” or “It’s my heart.”
We get feelings about things, one way or another. It might sound like an over simplification, but a “sense” about something can sometimes be God speaking to us.
That is not to say that we do not need guidance from the Spirit to discern God’s voice. We also need confirmation from other sources as to what exactly we are hearing. Which leads me to a second way in which we can hear God–other people.
Seeking out Godly wisdom from those around can often provide clarity as to where God is leading. Just make sure you don’t chat up the random guy at your office who has decorations of Ninja Turtles at his desk and smells like peanut butter. Ask a pastor, a friend who loves Jesus, your spouse, a home group leader… someone who can help discern God’s will in your life.
God can use others to speak a word of knowledge or a prophetic word (these aren’t just for OT times) directly into your life (yes, this perhaps constitutes an entire and separate post all together). Or, an individual can simply pray alongside of you and help you determine God’s answers.
Another way God has spoken to me in the past is through my not wanting to do what I think I should do. For example, I was headed out to go shopping with a friend of mine when I had a thought–call up that other girl who I don’t really care for and invite her shopping, too. Huh?
How and why did that thought just pop into my head? It wasn’t me, because I had absolutely no desire to invite the chick that irked me on a shopping date. I also know it wasn’t me because the voice was not me, talking to myself. I didn’t think, for example, “I should call her.” The thought was more like, “Nicole, you need to call her.” God addresses me by name and speaks to me very much like a parent speaking to a child.
I listened to that voice that day, though. I called her up and we had a great time. Sometimes–every once in a while–God knows better than we do (wink wink).
Which might have you asking–what about those small voices (or sometimes louder voices) we hear? I don’t mean crazy person get-out-of-my-head voices. I mean those passing thoughts, those inconspicuous ideas, those quiet notions that enter our mind from seemingly nowhere. Couldn’t those be from the Lord? Could those be God infiltrating our thoughts and making Himself known?
I have audibly heard God maybe twice. Once was to stop me from getting into a car accident. I heard a voice, not my own, say to me as clearly as a person talking right into my ear, “Do not go to Misti’s house” (if you are reading this Misti, you already know the outcome). I did not listen. Later, a car ran a red light in front of me, and I T-boned the vehicle.
Usually, however, God does not speak to us in an audible booming voices (but He certainly can if He chooses). He chooses more often to speak to us in the quiet whisper. Sounds like a Christian cliche right? Well, maybe it is for a reason.
Of course, there is also the most obvious way in which God can communicate with us, which is through the Bible. If ever you are looking for answers to questions, direction or guidance, wisdom or counsel–the Bible is your source. Sadly, I don’t think many Christians even seek out scripture in order to hear from God. I heard a pastor once say that “Scripture is the vocabulary of the Holy Spirit.” I like that.
The Lord does not intend for us to walk through our life never feeling like we can hear from Him. He is not a silent, distant God. He is a speaking, active, intimate God who desires to speak to you and share His will, love, and hope with you. Next time that small still voice enters your mind, do not be so quick to dismiss it–it may be the Lord starting a conversation with you.
Do you feel like you hear from God? How do you hear God if you do? How do you discern something is the Lord or not? Are you frustrated by not hearing from God?
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