Grace tidings: Hearing the voice of God

As a child of Almighty God, you have the right and the spiritual ability to hear the voice of God for yourself!

I used to find it very difficult to believe that God would talk to human beings. Whenever I heard a preacher or any believer for that matter saying “God told me to do this or the other”, I used to associate that with pride and arrogance. Little did I know that, it was God’s desire to talk to His people. He says in His Word “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27-28).

What is the Spirit of God saying to you today? What is He telling you about your spiritual development…your family…and your finances? If you’re facing trouble, what word of victory has He spoken to you? As a born-again child of the living God, you ought to know the answers to those questions.

If you read the Bible you will see God has been trying to get His people to understand that for thousands of years. In fact, He gave those exact instructions to an Old Testament king named Ahaz back in the days of the prophet Isaiah. Ahaz was in serious trouble at the time. He had two enemy armies coming against him and he had no idea what to do about it. So God sent His Word to Ahaz through the prophet Isaiah and gave him a whole new perspective. Instead of agreeing with Ahaz about how powerful his enemies were, God let him know they didn’t impress Him much. He referred to them as two “smoking stumps” (Isaiah 7:4, The Amplified Bible). Then He assured Ahaz their plans against him would not stand if he would simply obey the following instructions: Take heed…be quiet…fear not (verse 4) and believe (verse 9).

Before you head down the road looking for a prophet like Isaiah or your Papa to tell you what God is saying to you, let me save you a trip. You don’t need a prophet to tell you what to do. You have a better covenant than Ahaz had. You’re not just a servant of God like people were in the Old Covenant. Through the blood of Jesus, you’ve become a full-fledged son and the Bible says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

As a child of Almighty God, you have the right and the spiritual ability to hear the voice of God for yourself! You may argue that Brother Doug “God never speaks to me.” Sure He does. You’re just not listening. Have you ever turned on your television and found something was wrong with the picture? Maybe it was fuzzy or the sound was crackling with static. Or maybe you couldn’t get a picture at all. Did you grab the telephone, call ZBC or DSTV and tell them that something was wrong with their transmitter? Did you get some television executive on the line and say, “Hey, you I turned on my set and you weren’t there!” Certainly not.

That didn’t even occur to you. You were smart enough to figure out the problem most likely wasn’t with the transmitter. The problem was with the receiver. The problem was with your own television set. So instead of blaming the broadcaster, you started trying to find the problem on your end. You might have checked the electrical connections. You might have looked to make sure the cable was hooked up. You might have checked the settings on the television to make sure they were all adjusted correctly. What’s more, you stayed with it until you got it fixed. Why? Because you never doubted the fact that the networks were still broadcasting. You understood if you could just successfully tune in, they would be there for you.

Don’t you think we ought to have at least as much faith in God as we have in the television networks? They can break down. They can fail us. But God never will. He has given us His Word. He has promised He will lead us by His Spirit and enable us to know His voice. So if we’re having difficulty with those things, we need to stop blaming Him and determine where we’re missing it. Actually, that’s not hard to do. When we have trouble hearing God’s voice, it’s almost always for one of the following four reasons: (a) We don’t believe He is speaking. (b) We’re not paying attention. (c) We’re allowing some kind of interference to drown out His voice. (d) We just plain don’t know what frequency He is on.

Let’s focus right now on that last point. Exactly how do you locate the frequency God uses to speak to you? Please note you don’t do it through the flesh- by using your natural ears. Some people try to hear God that way. They think if He would just speak audibly to them everything would be solved. They’re mistaken. Our natural ears weren’t designed to hear the voice of God.

We were created to hear Him in our inner man or what the New Testament calls “the hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4). As Hebrews 3:7-8 says, “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost says, Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts...).” God leads His children not by outward voices or signs and wonders but by the inward witness of “the hidden man of the heart.” So to find His frequency, the first thing you’ll have to do is tune in, not with your head but with your heart!

How do you know the difference between your head and your heart? Scripturally speaking, your head is your soul, which is comprised of your mind, will and emotions. Your heart is your spirit, which is the core of your being that has been born again and joined to the Spirit of God. Granted, discerning the difference between the voice of your soul and the voice of your spirit can be challenging, and it takes spiritual wisdom to do it. But the Bible tells us clearly how to develop that wisdom: We do it by spending time in the written Word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that The Word is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It contains the voice of God in its most tangible form. God always agrees with His written Word and His Word always agrees with Him. In fact, Psalm 138:2 says He has magnified His Word even above His Name. That means God has put His Name on His written Word the way we would put our name at the bottom of a contract. He has given us His Word as a covenant and signed it in the Name of Jesus by the blood of Jesus. Since God cannot lie, there is no way He will ever do or say anything contrary to that Word.

He has absolutely joined Himself to it forever. So the first place God takes us to train us to recognize His voice is to His written Word. He uses it to tune our spiritual ears to the real so that we can easily recognise a counterfeit.

The better you know it, the more you’ve heard God’s voice speaking to you through it, the easier it is for you to tell the difference between His voice and another voice. The easier it is for you to divide your soul from your spirit and discern the difference between the voice of your head and the voice of your heart. When you’re trained to hear God’s voice in His Word, the devil won’t be able to sneak deceptions in on you, either. When he tries to razzle-dazzle you with some religious-sounding voice that says, I love you, my son. But it’s just not my will to heal you at this time, you won’t buy it. You’ll rise up and say, “That’s not the voice of God. That’s a lie from hell because it doesn’t agree with The Word that says ‘by His stripes you were healed."

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