Hearing God’s Voice Part 2
How does God speak?
We often use the well-known Americanism, “we must grab coffee sometime”, when we want to catchup with someone or want to get to know them better. What if I told you, God wants you to grab coffee with him every day!
if we are truly honest with ourselves, most of us want to hear from God when we need something, when we have a decision to make or we have a sick loved one. Herein lies the problem, we want to use God for our purposes, but God wants us to know Him, to worship Him and to grow in our relationship with Him. Out of that relationship, we develop the lifestyle of walking with God, being led by the Holy Spirit.
In Exodus 3:1-6 we read about God calling Moses from the middle of a burning bush. Little did Moses know that morning when he took his sheep out to pasture, that he would have such a significant encounter, one that would not only change his life, and the life of the nation of his birth. What follows in the next two chapters is one of the longest and most significant dialogues between God and man that you will find anywhere in Scripture. It was significant because it forever changed the nation of Egypt and proved the faithfulness of God in keeping the covenant that he had made with Abraham.
Moses is drawn to this strange sight of a bush that is burning but not consumed, and then suddenly God himself calls Moses out of the Fire. “Moses!; Moses!” Moses must have been scared to death being all alone on the mountain, but Moses responded, “Here I am”. Moses was available, God is still looking for people who respond when he calls today. Moses was still not sure who was speaking to him until God reveals His identity in verse 6.
As God calls Moses, he does his best to disqualify himself for the task that God was giving him, going to great lengths arguing with God about his calling. You see Moses had been in the wilderness for so long, that he had disqualified himself in his own eyes. But God knew who He was calling. When God calls you, He knows you better than you know yourself, there is no need to remind Him of your faults. But as a child of the king, when God calls you, he sees the only redeeming quality you have, he sees Jesus in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). The only quality that God looks for is a submitted life (Galatians 2:20).
In Exodus 19, when God gave the Law to Moses and he went up the mountain to meet with God face to face. But what a different encounter that was, Moses was a different man then, it was only a few months after Moses had met with God in the wilderness at the burning bush, but what a different man he was (Exodus 19:16-19). Moses knew the voice of God and he was bold, he was not the hesitant shepherd in the wilderness. Moses knew God and it changed him, he had become one of the greatest leaders in all of history. This is what happens when someone hears the voice of God and acts in obedience and faith; lives are transformed, and nations are changed.
Never underestimate the call of God and never dismiss the call of God on someone.
God still speaks today, but how does God speak?
God speaks primarily through His word, the Bible is our primary source for God to speak to us.
The bible is the starting point in our pursuit of a personal relationship with God, because it is His revelation of himself to mankind (2 Timothy 3:16). But for us to hear and respond to the God Word of God, we need to open it, meditate on it, and pray on it.
But God is not limited to speaking to us through the Bible, he is God after all and can speak in any way that He knows will get our attention, after all God used a rooster crowing three times, he even spoke through a donkey.
God will use other godly people in our lives to speak to us. We all need mentors and encouragers who will pray for us and then speak the truth in love (Isaiah 28:11).
God will speak through circumstances, Joseph saw this in Genesis 50:20 when he spoke to his estranged brothers.
God will use words of wisdom and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:7-9). God will speak to us through the Holy Spirit, as he uses other members of the Body of Christ using their gifts.
God will also speak with an audible voice (1 Kings 19:11-12).
Often speaks to us in that still small voice which are the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
As I wait on the Lord spending time in prayer, I hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and here is where the journal comes in. As God speaks, I write down what I hear Him say to me. Some people suggest using two pens of different color, one color for your prayers, the other color for what you feel God is saying. As you do this you can go back years later and see how God was true to His word, you can see how your relationship has grown and how faithful He has been.
God still speaks in Dreams; the life of Daniel was one filled with dreams and interpretations. And today we are hearing stories of thousands of Muslims who are encountering Jesus in dreams and following Jesus.
However, God speaks, we must be very careful to test and make sure that it is the voice of God.
God will never contradict Scripture and God will also not ask us to do anything that does not exalt the name of Jesus.
It is not uncommon for people to struggle to hear from God, usually it is because we are not positioning ourselves to hear from Him. Remember Psalm 46:10 and Philippians 4:8, as we are silent, meditate on Scripture and the things of the Lord we are better able to better hear His voice. In our society we have an incredible access to information and we need to limit our time dwelling on things that are not part of God’s plan and will for our lives (Proverbs 4:23).
Are you ready to develop a lifestyle of listening to God?