The heart cry of so many believers is to hear the voice of God. We hear others say things, like, “God told me…”, and sometimes it makes us wonder, “Why don’t I hear His voice?” It can make us feel left out and inferior. Even worse, it can make us think that hearing God’s voice is only for “chosen” ones, and is unattainable for us. These notions are incorrect and are not in line with God’s will.
Think about it. If you were in God the Father’s place (don’t get too carried away with this thought!), and your will was for all to come to the knowledge of the truth as revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ, and the way you had ordained for this to happen was through the ‘foolishness’ of preaching facilitated through the members of the Church, wouldn’t it be in your best interests to devise a form of communication with the members of the Church that was simple and accessible? Why would you ever limit it to a group of a select few? Why make it so difficult that few could ever decipher it? No, you would make it as simple and accessible as possible. You know what? God in all His infinite wisdom did exactly that: His forms of communication with us are the simplest, most accessible forms of communication in existence. There’s nothing similar that could even remotely compare to them.
Now, most of you are probably thinking, “Here it is, ANOTHER article about prayer. Ho hum.” But this article isn’t about prayer. “What?” you ask, “But you’re talking about hearing God’s voice.” Actually, that’s not really what I am talking about. I am talking about communication with God: the way He relays information to us. Most other people equate praying to God with hearing God’s voice, but I am going to go out on a limb by faith and make a distinction between the two.
You see, most people limit God’s methods of communication to just one – hearing His voice. Therefore, since they limit communication with the Father to just one channel, they actually end up missing out on the bulk of the information He relays to them. Also, people of this persuasion tend to limit hearing God’s voice to designated blocks of time set part for this purpose only. So not only are they tuned into one singular channel, they are tuned in to it only at specific, unfrequent times. Sadly, this eliminates the greater part of the day, during which, incidentally, receiving information from the Father is VITAL.
Another important point is that even those who do “hear God’s voice” often use the term “hearing God’s voice” as a broad qualifier which actually includes other forms of divine communication. In other words, they have a tendency to group all forms of divine communication under one broad heading: hearing God’s voice. While they are sincere, as a pastor, I have seen how this terminology can confuse and mislead others, especially new believers. It would be best to get our terminology right.
So, David, what is your point? My point is that God has devised many means of communicating with us, and the chief method is not hearing His voice, as many have thought. The chief way that God communicates with us (relays information to us) is through our spirits. Now, I realize that may sounds vague, but stay with me. Instead of searching for a voice to lead and guide you, realize that the main way God is going to communicate to you will be through your spirit, your inner man. Yes, you may hear His voice within your spirit, but chances are you will more frequently receive information from Him through an inward “knowing”, “teaching”, “peace”, or “desire”. Let me share a few verses of Scripture with you to support this:
1). I John 2:20: But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. ESV. Make sure you read the next verse which tells us where this anointing is located.
2). I John 2:27: But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him. ESV. You see that this anointing dwells in us and it gives us knowledge and teaches us: imparts knowledge unto us.
3). Colossians 3:15: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. ESV. The word “rule” in this verse means to “umpire”. In other words, it means that peace should be the determining factor in the decisions we make. It should act as an “umpire” in our lives, deciding what we should or should not do.
4). Philippians 2:13: for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. It is God who produces the willingness to do something or go somewhere. He leads us by the desires of our hearts. Incidentally, the Russian translation of this verse has the word “will” as “desire”.
5). Romans 8:16: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
As you can tell, these different methods of communication may or may not include a literal “voice” speaking to you. I have found that the most often do not. However, each one is a viable method of divine communication. If we realized that God communicates to us in these ways, we would comprehend that He is in constant communion with us, we just don’t realize it because we are busy straining to hear a voice.
Most often, the Lord leads me by an inward knowing, followed by a willingness in my heart to do something. For example, the other day this “knowing” came to me that I should call a certain brother in our church. On the heels of this knowing came a desire to call him. I never heard a voice saying, “David, you must call so-and-so.” No. It all happened inside, in my spirit. Thankfully, I realized it was the Lord and called the guy. It was the right thing to do. I called at the right time when he really needed to hear from me. Mission accomplished.
I encourage you to follow these leadings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t just expect to hear a voice. Realize that the Lord will lead you variously. When you start expecting Him to lead you by these other methods, in addition to a voice, you’ll discover that He is communicating with you all the time!