Recently I had someone whom I dearly love ask me a question about hearing God’s voice in my life. I have decided to write how I have come to know God’s voice in my life. While it is not an audible voice, I do want to acknowledge that I do believe God can do anything and He could speak audibly to anyone He chooses. So here’s to you, Jade, in hopes that this will truly help you and others!
For me it has been a process of getting “STILL,” and a deep desire to know and recognize His voice above all others. It has been habitual and decisive to be disciplined, to spend focused and uninterrupted time with Jesus every day. First thing in the morning works best for me. I have created a place that is designated as my place. I have my Bible, laptop, journal, iPod with worship music and I even have a candle that I light. I also bring along my favorite morning drink. The time I get up fits with my schedule for the day so that I am not at all rushed. I want to be relaxed and ready for my meeting with my Father. At times this can mean getting up extra early so as to not be rushed.
Often I start out with a short prayer to God to ask Him to open my ears, eyes, mind and heart to be receptive and recognize His word and voice to me. The longer I have kept this intentional meeting, which started in 2010, the more easily recognizable His voice has been in my life. The “voice” in my life comes from a cleared mind and a time in His word and prayer.
Sometimes I can feel that He delivers His specific word in my thoughts and often it is confirmed as I obey and act on the thought He has put in my heart and mind. I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old and before marriage and children, when I was only responsible for me, His voice was very clear. After I married, had children and my responsibilities increased, somehow the business of life and the voices of others rang out louder than the voice of God in my life. That is my sin, not that of my husband or my children. We all are responsible for our own actions.
When I finally recognized the complete darkness in my life, which was a lost feeling and not knowing and realizing the once familiar voice was no longer there. I was on mission to get back to the once familiar and comforting, guiding voice of the Holy Spirit. God did not move, I did.
As I started the quest of knowing and recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit that comes to dwell inside of anyone who invites Jesus to be Lord of their life, It hydrated my whole existence. I was so dehydrated and didn’t even realize it until the flow of the Holy Spirit’s voice started to flood my mind and heart. The more I got, the more I desired and thirsted for it. It was so encouraging to get up every single morning even when the most dreaded circumstances could be going on around me…like Brewer, our oldest son, fighting for his life on a ventilator two years ago. Or my dad, in hospice, breathing his last bit of life before my very eyes just last year.
That meeting time brought a comfort and confidence and a reassurance that NO one else and no thing could provide. Addictive is a GREAT word to describe it. I crave it above all else. I know that I know it is the voice of God. I now have hundreds of God moments in my personal life. Times when I have heard the voice of God and obeyed…and confirmation has followed.
Often, I have stepped tentatively to obey the voice that was in my heart and head, all the while praying, “Lord, if I have heard you wrong, stop me. Show me.” HE has been faithful to show me. It is called intimacy with God…that can only come from a desire and intent, with the follow through of action, and it is available to anyone who does it.
I can’t have an intimate relationship with God for anyone else but myself. I desire it for anyone. I can pray for it for others. I can testify to how I have been able to achieve the intimate relationship. BUT it can’t be done for someone else. Just like I can’t eat or sleep for anyone else but me.
Another thing is that unconfessed sin derails me from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit in my life. As I continue to read and study God’s word, I have come to realize if I am growing and wanting to become more like Christ, and my desire to please Him and obey grows, then, when I sin, I should feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and sorrow. I should not only confess it, but have a growing desire NOT TO DO IT.
Scripture is clear, if we keep repeating folly…we are fools. Proverbs tells us it is like a dog who returns to his vomit (Proverbs 26:11). Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, not condemnation. Satan’s voice is condemning. My prayer life and quiet times have helped me distinguish between the two voices.
Remember, Satan masquerades as an “angel of light!” He whispers lies that can be very confusing. The confusion evaporates when you are intentional about the pursuit of God’s voice.
So, as best as I can explain it: I have designated and uninterrupted time with the Lord daily, read His word, watch sermons, and pray. The way God has spoken to me is through His written word (the Bible), others (sermons and testimonies and others who hold me accountable), and prayer. All have contributed to the “voice inside my heart and head” and confirmation of sensing it, obeying it and seeing God show up and confirm my obedience.
Hearing and following His voice has become an addiction. The most exhilarating experience…that makes me want more and also want it for anyone who will listen.
Charles Spurgeon says it well as he points out the need to pray and meditate on God’s Word: “Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”
I want to end today with these encouraging words from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”