Jul
16

Tuning into the Voice of God, pt. 2

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listeningtogodsvoiceHaving been in ministry for more than 26 years, I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me how they can hear the voice of God. On the other hand, I probably couldn’t count the number of times I have listened to believers tell me about how they heard God on a subject when it was so obvious to me that the voice they had heard was not God’s. And certainly I have wrestled at times to discern what God was saying.

Is it really that complicated? Doesn’t God want us to be able to hear Him? We often believe that God wants to speak to us but feel totally inept at knowing what to do in a given situation. How then do we hear the voice of God?

Let’s begin with the basics and go on from there.

  1. God speaks.

    From the very beginning, God spoke. Actually it was His voice that spoke everything into existence. The Spirit hovered and God spoke. When mankind was created, God blessed them and SPOKE to them. He clearly laid out their purpose – fruitfulness, multiplication, dominion- and He clearly laid out their boundaries. He SPOKE these things to Adam and Eve.

  2. Satan also speaks.

    Gen. 3:1 He said to the woman….

  3. Satan’s voice tempts us to question God’s voice.

    Has God really said…?

  4. We have two natures. In Romans 7, Paul beautifully, and with great anguish, describes the two natures. …For the good that I want to do, I do not do; but the evil that I don’t want to do, I find myself practicing.  

So what is a believer in Christ to do? How do we insure that we hear and follow God’s voice? After all, didn’t Jesus say that his sheep hear his voice and follow him? Yet, we all must readily acknowledge that we don’t always hear and follow. Here are some principles on hearing God:

  1. Because of our sin nature, our own personal histories,etc., we sometimes don’t clearly hear God.

  2. God has literally moved heaven and earth, giving His son Jesus, so that we can learn to hear His voice. He is our Father. As believers, we are in relationship with God. God took the initiative to bring us into this relationship. He wants us to hear Him.

  3. We primarily hear God through our spirit. (I Cor. 2:14). This does not mean that God doesn’t speak through our minds, our emotions, and even our physical bodies. God can and does speak in a myriad of ways, however the Word teaches us that His Spirit will “bear witness” with our spirit (Romans 8:16). His Spirit will “referee” over our thoughts if we will listen. Colossians 3:15 says that we are to let the peace of God “rule” in our hearts. This is the picture of a referee who “calls” things, whether thoughts or actions, out of bounds. In our Western civilization, we exalt the mind and the realm of “knowledge” and this oftentimes makes it difficult for us to “hear” with the ears of our spirit. Our spirits are our “on-board’ equipment which enables us to hear God. This does not mean that our minds and emotions are not important. We hear God’s voice in our spirit; our mind and emotions then process this communication so our mental, physical, and emotional health is vitally important. God equipped us with a spirit, mind, body, and emotions so we are not to despise any of them, but we are to sanctify all of ourselves to God.

  4. God wants to “renew” our minds so that they conform to His intended design for them (Romans 12:2). This scripture tells us that the renewing of our mind allows us to understand God’s will and hear His voice. This renewing is a life-long process. Spending time in God’s Word is one way to co-operate with this process.

  5. Prayer and meditation are ways to acknowledge our desire to hear God.

  6. We can grow in our ability to hear God. Just as my Yorkie, Gabriel, know the sound of my vehicle when I drive up to my house, the sound of my footsteps in the house, the sound of my voice, because he has been my dog for many years, he has spent time with me, we also can learn the sounds of God by spending time with Him, walking throughout our lives with Him.

     There is so much more, but for today, let’s close with this prayer:

God, I thank You that You speak. I want to hear Your voice. Help me to be aware of Your voice today. Help me to discern the difference in Your voice, the voice of my enemy, and the voice of my flesh. Forgive me for every time I have ignored Your voice or disobeyed Your voice. Renew my mind, purify my emotions, and speak to me today in any way you choose. I am Your servant and I am listening. Fill me with Your Spirit in Jesus’ name.

Feel free to leave comments about times when you heard God speak to you.

 

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Categories : Hearing God

Comments

  1. rene' anderson says:

    Mikki,
    What a great blog! So needed for right now. I’ v e heard so many people experiencing change, as well as myself, and listening is a must. Obeying is a necessity!! thank you for continuously teaching me and reminding me of truths on the path God has for me! I love you tremendously!

  2. Cathleen says:

    Mikki, you wrote “Help me to discern the difference in Your voice,”. I find this difficult to do because of the fear of having false pride. Why would God tell me something about someone? Why wouold he choose me to give knowledge about a situation?

    I deliberate about when to say anything to the people involved. In the past I have not, (except once when I couldn’t sleep for 3 days – hehe), and now I regret it because ALL four occasions of ‘words of knowledge’ came true within a few years. I never said anything and I am suffering with the guilt of not trusting the Lord when he does speak to me. Any more suggestions on how to really discern when to be bold and to speak to those involved and when to keep quiet?

  3. Mikki says:

    Kathleen,

    I think you can offer “words” to others in humility. An approach such as, “I feel that God may be saying…. Would you pray about it?” This approach leaves room for human error and is humble- leaving the choice on the hearer to discern if the word is true, is for them, etc. Also, when the word stays with you – as the one you spoke of did – that can be an indicator of our need to share. Learning to share prophetic words is like learning to walk. We stumble at times when we are learning. If a word carries an element of judgment or direction, it can be helpful to submit it to a leader first so that we can be protected from any blind spots that we may have. A great, very practical book to read on this is, “You May All Prophesy” by Steve Thompson.

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