Instead of asking “Do you want to hear God better?” some people are unsure whether He speaks in this age or not.
But aren’t you glad that He does.
The number one way God speaks to us is through Scripture.
Although we can understand the words with our mind, we need the revelation of Precious Holy Spirit to help us grasp the meaning of Scripture.
I am so thankful because He also speaks to our spirit.
I remember the first time God spoke to my heart.
Even though I was a little kid, I was so concerned about my dad’s salvation, so I was praying as I walked to my grandma’s house. I saw a big hardened rock of clay in the ditch. I continued my prayer “God, My dad’s heart is as hard as that rock.”
God whispered, “I can melt the heart of stone.” That one whisper was a promise I held onto for years and years until he was saved. I can’t begin to tell you what it did for me.
Let me try to frame it this way, instead of fear I had hope that fueled my faith.
Did I really hear God?
I also remember an incident that made me doubt that I could really hear God’s voice.
I felt impressed, which means a strong feeling in my heart, like I should stop by the church on my way home from work. But when I got to the church, the office was closed. I pulled my car under the portico and waited for awhile. I left feeling so stupid. I figured that I had totally missed God and didn’t hear God’s voice.
And I can miss Him! I have missed it. Humans make mistakes.
And when I make a mistake I repent and keep on learning.
I embrace the win-learn philosophy; not the win lose one that stops people from even trying!
But when I actually prayed about the situation, I felt God tell me, “Are you willing to obey me even when you don’t understand…even when you don’t see any results?”
It was a truth I needed learn at that stage in my life. There have been so many times God has asked me to do things that I didn’t understand!
His Word is proof.
Yet, there is a more important reason that makes me believe that God speaks today- His Word. We can’t afford to base our beliefs on our experiences. The foundation for our faith and life must be based on Scripture.
So much I want to tell you
Look at John 16:12-15 NLT
12“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.15All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
My Sheep know my voice
1“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!2But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
That includes you. You need to realize if you are God’s child that He talks to you. That is important because if you don’t believe He talks to you, you won’t listen.
Are you thinking, “Not me! I don’t know His voice.”
We’ve all been there.
But maybe the problem is not that God is not talking, but only that we are not listening.
Psa 78:1 NLT O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying,
There are radio waves all around you right this minute! But in order to hear any of them you must tune in, then and only then will you hear them. As believers we have to learn, that’s right learn to hear God.
Pay attention how you hear
Luke 8:18 NLT
18“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”
11He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.
I talk about these two verses in Episode 6 Right Thinking Begins With Right Listening. It is an episode in my launch series “Think God’s Way for a Change.” If you haven’t listened to that series you are missing an opportunity to seriously change the way you think.
You can always listen to them on my website as well.
Here’s that link. Right Listening.
Hearing God’s voice is so important.
The albatross are magnificent seabirds. Both the mom and dad albatross take turns sitting on the eggs. That’s not particularly unusual, but what is unusual is that they talk to their eggs. They crane their neck close to speak in their sweetest albatross language; eek, eek, eek! Yet, these birds aren’t doing it to be sweet, it is critical that their baby learn to recognize their voice. The albatross nest in colonies, so when this baby hatches from it’s egg, it must recognize it’s parents voice. Only it’s parent will feed it and if it can’t recognize its parent’s voice it won’t make it back to the nest or to it’s parent to be fed.
It is just as critical that you learn to recognize God’s voice. There are many voices in this world…they can be very convincing! If you don’t train your ears, you can get confused, sidetracked and lost!
Look at Moses in Exodus 3.
It’s a familiar story, but let’s look at it from the lens of how he listened to God.
1O One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3“This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
4When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
5“Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
He was curious.
He wanted to know more.
So he moved closer to the fire.
He recognized it was Holy ground. Most of the time God speaks to us through the voice of Scripture. It is also the filter than you must use for whether it is God speaking to you or not. If it contradicts Scripture, then it’s not God.
He gave the Holy due reverence.
Humble yourself. Respect it for what it is.(Richard Crisco carried his Bible would never put anything on top of it.)
Make it a priority. Submit your opinion to embrace God’s. We don’t want the Bible to change our opinion; we want it to reinforce what we already believe. It’s supposed to change you. It’s supposed to challenge you.
Heb 4:12 ESV For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
God can talk to you all sorts of ways
and in all sorts of places.
Mary Boyd will often ask children “Where was the most unique place you prayed this week?” I want to change that question a little, “Where was the most unique place God talked with you?” On a treadmill or a bicycle? On a roof? In a tree? Watching TV? In church?
The point is you don’t have to be sitting in a prayer posture somewhere for God to speak to you.
Isaiah 30:21 NLT And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” God has all sorts of ways of getting our attention.
God is not a silent partner.
A.W. Tozer says “It’s the nature of God to speak.” He wants to guide you and instruct you. Yet, you must lean in to listen.
Without caller ID you recognize your husband’s or best friend’s voice because you know them. You’ve spent time with them. You know how they say things and the tone and quality of their voice. As you spend time with God you’ll learn to recognize His voice better and better.
He knows what is best and directs us toward it.
Issaac Hoopii is a good example of how the Holy Spirit guides us. He was a Pentagon police officer when the Pentagon was hit on 9-11. Amidst the confusion and burning debris he called into the flames, “Come to my voice,” Then he carefully guided the victims to safety.
That is one of the roles of Precious Holy Spirit.
He is an awesome guide. He’ll never get you lost…but if you make a wrong turn you’ll probably hear Him say something like recalculating as He guides you back on the correct route for your life.