WAS THAT THE PHONE OR YOU LORD?
I grew up singing a song called- "Jesus on the main line tell him what you want." That seems corny I know, but it serves a real purpose as we discern the voice of God. I can't tell you how many times I have woke up in the middle of the night, hearing a phone ringing. Even though I eventually started to recognize that God was talking to me, I still didn't understand how to discern what he was saying. This takes practice friends. Jesus is always speaking because he is the Word made flesh, but we must practice discerning his voice.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." John 10:14-16
God is the master communicator and its not just the sound of his voice that we hear. We may hear God speak through a painting or in the sound of a baby crying or in nature. We can hear his voice speaking to us in a song on the radio or through a prophetic dance movement. Our movements create a sound and God's do too. Adam and Eve would hear his footsteps coming toward them in the cool of the day the bible says and they knew he was about to speak. God longs to speak with you. Sometimes it seems like his voice is booming to us and at other times it's in a whisper or that still small voice within us. Sometimes I'm driving down the road and sense to go a different route-I've learned to pay attention to those types of promptings. We really don't know why-but we can trust that God is always speaking, leading, guiding and protecting us every step of the way.
I have found one of the best ways to discern God's voice is through daily journaling. Taking notes of things you sense and then searching it out is a good way to discern what God is trying to say to you. Sometimes it feels like a game of hide and seek but I believe it shows God that we are serious about our relationship with him. For example I was in a service recently and all I got was 1 word from God. I saw it written in the spirit in big letters but I also heard it in my spirit. God was using sight and sound with me that day. It was the word- RECOGNIZE. So the next day I looked up the meaning of the word and began activating the word by prophesying.
I still believe that reading the bible is one of the most important ways to hear God's voice-no doubt. God speaks through his Word- and it is a pure word that can trusted. I'm thankful we have the logos (written word of God) and the rhema word of God ( uttered word of God).
Rhema: This Greek word is most often translated "word" or "saying" and means "spoken word." The Spirit's voice in our hearts is one example of rhema. Another example of rhema is when verses leap off the pages of Scripture and into our hearts, as this is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, applying the verse directly to our lives. In the Bible, rhema refers to speaking, regardless of who is doing the speaking. It can be God, the Holy Spirit, Satan, an evil spirit, ourselves or someone else speaking. In each case, it is rhema.
So we see that not everything we hear is from God, but practicing what you hear will allow you to more easily discern what is and what is not from God. Remember that God will never violate:
principles from the Bible
do anything that will harm others
ask you to do something illegal
IS THAT YOU GOD?
God also speaks through impressions, pictures, and very often in dreams.
"For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword." Job 33:14-18
Jesus said more than 15 times that we must have "eyes to see and ears to hear" and may I add- a heart that is open and willing to receive what he's showing and speaking. The spiritual condition of our hearts makes all the difference in our hearing and seeing, because everything is filtered through our heart.
GOD USES ANGELS AND OTHER PEOPLE TOO
Don't forget that God uses other people to speak to us as well. What may seem like a casual conversation with a friend may be God trying to get something across to us through them.
God speaks in dramatic encounters with Holy Spirit and with angels- He speaks quietly, and loudly- he speaks audibly (although most don't experience that a lot)- he still does it -and he very often speaks through an inner witness deep within us. The main thing to remember is that he is always speaking-so it might be a good idea to slow down to the speed of now to hear what he's saying.
ACTION STEPS THIS WEEK: (taken from- "How to Hear God's Voice Clearly for Yourself"-Doug Addison)
BELIEVE: "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown about and tossed like the wind." James 3:16 God is speaking -believe he is speaking to you too not just everyone else.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE AT PEACE: Luke 5:16-"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." I hear very clearly in the shower. I know it sounds weird but its a quiet place for many of us. But make sure you are setting aside time to be quiet with God.
REMOVE ALL HINDRANCES: Romans 12:1-"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders..." Check your theologies about hearing God's voice. Don't limit God by how you think he may speak to you. He can and will speak however he chooses-remember he spoke one time through a donkey to a man that wouldn't listen.
ACTIVATE WHAT HE SAYS TO YOU: Luke 6:49- "But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation." Take time to write down everything that stands out to you and then take time to journal with God-asking him questions by looking up the meanings in the dictionary.
FOCUS: "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
Be expectant as you practice hearing his voice. Focus on his voice being the primary source of revelation in your life. Don't give your power of belief away to hell-be more convinced that God is speaking to you than the devil is deceiving you.
Blessings as you practice hearing his voice this week,