In part 1 we discussed some of the reasons that we might not hear God, as well as some of the problems that might be associated with it. But what happens when we've heard God? I have previously written about the ways in which God speaks. That blog (list) is HERE.
Hearing God is an interesting endeavor because we don't usually hear His voice in the same way we hear a normal human voice. To hear God under most circumstances, we need to hear Him in our spirit. The Bible describes this as our heart, and the place where rivers of living water flow from. (John 7:37-38) For most Christians that I know, the ones that claim to hear God, most of them speak of impressions, or a sense of knowing. The Bible describes this as the "still small voice." When God spoke to Elijah on Mount Horeb, He could have done so in the wind, earthquake, or fire. But He didn't. He spoke with a “still small voice” 1 Kings 19:10-12
This whisper appears to be the most common way, but not the only way that God speaks. Sometimes this voice is accompanied by other physical sensations such as heat, wind, water and other forms of the manifest presence of God. But hearing His voice is not about the sensations, it is about the message. As you become accustom to hearing God, you'll begin to recognize it. As all things God, there is no formula. As my daughter liked to say, "there is lots of error and trial."
God will speak all sorts of things to us if we will listen. Remember, He pursues us as a head-over-heals lover pursues a mate. (Song of Songs) The difference is that we have to learn His language-- the language of the Spirit. As Christians, we are supposed to be in a personal relationship with Jesus-- but He is a King, a Father and a Daddy. What He speaks will be related to the "roles" that He plays in our lives. Let's take a quick look at the types of things God might say, if we were listening.
- of His love for us.
- of His destiny for us.
- words or pictures of revelation and wisdom.
- discipline and correction.
- revelations for others, for church, for situations and countries.
Of course there are many examples of God speaking to His people. From Moses to Gideon, to Paul and all of the events of the book Acts, God speaks for kingdom purposes. Phrases that use the words power, voice, heard, knew are all clues to the types of things God says and does. We can't know God's voice (unless we have a road to Damascus like experience for specific purpose) without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our receptor, witness and teacher. Without Holy Spirit's witness, we are just operating under our own power, engaging others with our own ideas, and leaning on our own understanding. As long as you do that, you be far off from the voice of God.
Once we have heard the voice of God, we are responsible for it. If it is an instruction, then we must do it-- this will take faith! Obedience is not just to a set of legalistic principals set down in print, but to the voice of God as we navigate the day-to-day. Jesus said, "I do what I see the Father doing." This why John Wimber well defined the problem of hearing God, when said that hearing God was a problem too. Delayed obedience is sin too.... this is where real faith comes in. We to listen and obey. For those that are parents, you know what I am talking about.
In the end, it really is a joy to hear from Heaven, and to do it. The Holy Spirit will give us confidence as we grow in the art of listening to the Master. We are certain to make mistakes. That is part of the process.
I suggest journaling these impressions, and sharing them with someone that you trust. They could be about people that you know-- complete strangers. You should exercise your listening spirit in a tangible way. Take a few minutes when you pray to listen. Write those things down. At some point you'll be able to compare what you heard to reality.