The only way that we can recognise or know someone’s voice is if we have spent time with them. I can hear my husband’s or children’s voice in a crowd of people because I know them so well. Even a child in a mother’s womb knows her voice and will respond to it once the baby is delivered. We too as children of God should be able to recognise the voice of our Heavenly Father. God the Father longs to have communion with us, just as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He has redeemed the consequence of sin in the garden, so that we can have relationship with Him through the cross on which Jesus died and paid the debt for our sins. I believe God is always speaking to us, we are often too distracted and find it hard to hear His voice. In this verse John 10v27 (ESV) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus says that the sheep (referring to us) who belong to Him hear His voice and listen (be obedient) to that voice. We come to know this voice by spending time reading the living word of God, the Bible. The more time you spend in the word you, the more you get to understand and recognise the character and heart of the Father. There may be times when reading the word that a scripture just “jumps out at you”, at that very moment you may be looking for guidance or an answer to a particular question which now has just been shown to you in the Word. This is not a coincidence or chance but the Holy Spirit helping you to hear the Fathers voice for that situation. This is a demonstration of the Love of the Father towards His children. The more we learn to recognise this the easier it comes to discern what He is trying to tell us. As we see the outworking of the word we grow in faith and confidence in hearing his word. Romans 10v7 NIV “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.”
When we are spending time with God either by reading the word, praying or worshipping an important question you need to ask yourself is “Do you really expect to hear from God?” Our expectations will influence our faith in hearing God. A W Tozer said it so well “The one who does not expect God to speak will discount every single time when God does speak.” We need to believe that God has a desire to speak to us, not just the pastors or people who are on staff at church. The enemy wants us to believe this lie and rob each one of us the privilege hearing God for ourselves and growing in maturity and intimacy with Him. In those moments when you are unsure if you have heard God, ask Him to help you discern the truth. Ask yourself if it is fear or pride in your heart that is shouting, as this will be counter to the character of God and how He has demonstrated His will in the Word. His voice will bring a surrender of heart and a peace to your soul. He has your best interest at heart you can trust Him to lead you into the fullness of His will for you.
Some people have heard an audible voice of God, most of us have not. God speaks by illuminating scripture or through an impression or a knowing on your heart, you need to become sensitive to this as you lean into His presence. You may get visions or thoughts during worship, ask God what they mean and what you should do with them. Each of us hear God it may be different or all the above. God loves your company; He wants to talk with you and reveal himself to you. Take time in the business of your day to be still and wait in His presence expectantly to hear from Him. Ps 46v10 (ESV) “Be still and know that I am God.”
By Tamara Vercueil