Knowing GOD’s Voice

John 10:27 New King James Version:  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Christians desire to hear from their Heavenly Father. Most of us want to speak directly to GOD and to hear an answer.  We want to know for certain that we have received a Word from GOD.

When we hear “something”, we tend to ask 3 questions:

  1. Was that really GOD?
  2. Was that me?
  3. Was that the devil?

The Bible actually urges us to perform that test.  1 John 4:1-2 New International Version says: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

That warning applies to voices we might hear and also concerning people that tell us they have heard from GOD. We are admonished to test that voice/opinion/prophesy/advice.

When listening for the voice of GOD, we need to know that we are hearing words that are compatible with what the Bible says. The Old Testament and the New Testament both point to the same conclusion: JESUS is the Christ, the son of the living GOD. He became flesh. He was a perfect sacrifice for our sins, died on the cross, and rose again. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever. He has all power in heaven and earth in His hands.

We have been warned that satan (satan’s name is intentionally not capitalized) is a mimic, imitator, and liar. If he can drive someone off course, by pretending to be the voice of GOD, he will do it.

Jesus gave this illustration in John 10:1-5 New Living Translation: “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!  But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

The more we know the actual Word of GOD and what it says, the safer we are about not following satan, the lying stranger and deceiver. Whatever, GOD has spoken to us will be compatible with His Holy Word. If it doesn’t fit the Word of GOD, it was not a message from GOD.

Common Lies Spoken By The deceiver

(deceiver is intentionally not capitalized)

  1. GOD doesn’t love you – The Bible’s answer: Romans 8:38-39 New King James Version says, For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  2. You aren’t really saved – The Bible’s answer: 1 John 5:13 Easy-to-Read Version says, I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God. I write so that you will know that you have eternal life now.
  3. You are beyond help – The Bible’s answer: Hebrews 7:25 New Living Translation says, Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save[a] those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
  4. You have sinned too much to be forgiven – The Bible’s answer: Acts 10:43 Easy-to-Read Version says, “…Everyone who believes in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name. All the prophets agree that this is true.” Also, Isaiah 43:25 English Standard Version says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins…”

Some Of The Ways That GOD Speaks To Us

  • GOD Speaks Directly Through His Word, The Bible

The Bible is a supernatural book that was conceived at the beginning of time.  John 1:1 New International Version says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

GOD uses it very proficiently in the lives of His children. He can speak directly to you through those pages. In Psalm 119:104-105 Easy-to-Read Version, the psalmist wrote: I gain understanding from your instructions, so I hate anything that leads people the wrong way. Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take.

GOD teaches through those pages. Psalm 1:1-2 Easy-to-Read Version says: Great blessings belong to those who don’t listen to evil advice, who don’t live like sinners, and who don’t join those who make fun of God.[a] Instead, they love the Lord’s teachings and think about them day and night.

GOD performs miracles and deliverance through those pages. Hebrews 4:12 New International Version says : For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

  • GOD Speaks By The Holy Spirit

JESUS specifically sent the Holy Spirit to speak to, guide, and comfort us. John 16:13-14 New International Version says: But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

Even in the Old Testament, GOD sent His Spirit to speak to us. King David proclaimed in 2 Samuel 23:2 New International Version: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue…”

In the New Testament, it was demonstrated that Christians hear from GOD. 1 Corinthians 12:8 New International Version explains: To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit…

GOD wants us to be willing to hear what He says.  When we know His Word and are sure it is His voice, we should receive what He says. Hebrews 3:7-9 New Living Translation reminds us: That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years…”

  • GOD Speaks With A “Still, Small Voice”

In one Bible story, Elijah was seeking GOD and found out GOD doesn’t have to shout or send thunder and lightning to be heard: 1 Kings 19:11-12 Easy-to-Read Version says, Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go, stand in front of me on the mountain. I, the Lord, will pass by you.”[a] Then a very strong wind blew. The wind caused the mountains to break apart. It broke large rocks in front of the Lord. But that wind was not the Lord. After that wind, there was an earthquake. But that earthquake was not the Lord. After the earthquake, there was a fire. But that fire was not the Lord. After the fire, there was a quiet, gentle voice.[b]

That voice was not just for Elijah.  See this promise in Jeremiah 33:3 New International Version: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Further confirmation is found in Isaiah 30:21 New International Version: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

JESUS Himself has a beckoning voice. He is waiting and offering His company and conversation. Revelation 3:20 New International Version says: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

  • GOD Confirms His Voice By Peace in Your Spirit

When we truly hear from GOD, there is a deep-seated peace. There is assurance that we are moving in the right direction. If the voice you hear causes confusion or turmoil, it couldn’t be GOD. It is a counterfeit.

Isaiah 54:13 New International Version promises great peace for those who are instructed by GOD: All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.

Psalm 119:165-166 New Living Translation further verifies: Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. I long for your rescue, Lord, so I have obeyed your commands.

Psalm 85:8 New Living Translation says: I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways.

2 Peter 1:2New Living Translation shows this supplication:  May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 48:17-18 New Living Translation gives this powerful declaration: This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea…”

In John 16:33 New International Version JESUS’ words bring peace: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 3:1-2 New International Version: My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

  • GOD Speaks To You Through A Person

Sometimes we may hear GOD’s voice very clearly. Other times, we just can’t get clarity. In that situation, GOD uses the Christians around us. They can help us to hear what we can’t quite grasp. Our brothers and sisters in CHRIST are often anointed, seasoned mouthpieces for GOD.

Ephesians 4:11 Easy-to-Read Version states: And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.[a]

In the Old Testament, GOD frequently sent people as messengers. In 2 Kings 20:16 Easy-to-Read Version, Isaiah announced to King Hezekiah that his message was not of this world, but from Almighty GOD: Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord…”

In the New Testament, Paul asked for prayers to help him hear clearly what GOD wanted to say to the people. Ephesians 6:19-20 Easy-to-Read Version says: Also pray for me—that when I speak, God will give me words so that I can tell the secret truth about the Good News without fear.  I have the work of speaking for that Good News, and that is what I am doing now, here in prison. Pray that when I tell people the Good News, I will speak without fear as I should.

GOD sent a message to a large audience through the man of GOD, Joshua. Joshua 3:9 New International Version: Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God…”

GOD sent Philip to help a new Christian to hear from Him and to understand the Word of GOD. This illustration is found in Acts 8:29-31 New International Version: The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

  • GOD Speaks With Supernatural Manifestations

Hearing from GOD is a supernatural phenomenon. It is often accompanied by miraculous and supernatural activity. This is nothing to fear. GOD will not perform activity that will frighten or petrify His children. He operates according to our level of experience and preparation. However, we see from the excerpts below that He is ready and able to speak while demonstrating that He is the Lord GOD Almighty.

Numbers 7:89 New International Version: When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.

Mark 16:19-20 New International Version: After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Jeremiah 1:12 New American Standard Bible: Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [a]watching over My word to perform it.”

2 Corinthians 13:3-4 New Living Translation:  I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak when he deals with you; he is powerful among you.  Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 New International Version: My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

So…What if we really do hear from Him? What Then?

  • Pay Attention

Hebrews 2:1-4 New International Version urges us to pay attention:  We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.  For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,  how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.  God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

  • Accept And Obey

We must be willing to accept the message.  Whatever we hear from GOD, we must be willing to follow. JESUS reminded His disciples to not just hear from GOD, but to do what GOD says. Luke 11:28 King James Version says: But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

James 1:22-24 New Living Translation cautions: But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

The rebellious prophet Balaam had to admit, in spite of himself, that GOD’s Word is GOD’s Word.  He could not speak anything, but what GOD spoke. Numbers 24:12-13 New Living Translation:  Balaam told Balak, “Don’t you remember what I told your messengers? I said,  ‘Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord.’ I told you that I could say only what the Lord says!

  • Reverence The Voice Of GOD

We should never take for granted the magnificence of a Word from the Lord. Is it possible that anything spoken by the mouth of GOD could be small or insignificant? No, not even possible. He tells us in Luke 21:15 New International Version:  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

He speaks to those who give Him the reverence for which He is worthy. Psalm 25:14 New International Version makes that plain: The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

Hebrews 12:28 New International Version sums it up this way: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…

Blessings Promised For Hearing Him And Obeying Him

What can be more fulfilling than knowing GOD and communicating with Him? Furthermore, He has promised blessings to us for hearing and obeying Him. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 English Standard Version says, “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God…”

This promise to Israel extends to the Body of Christ, Christian believers.

Father GOD, please embrace and speak to all who read this post. Please help them to know Your great love and salvation through JESUS CHRIST. Allow them to put painful things behind them and to always move forward. Send healing and freedom to them through your Holy Word and fellowship with You every day.

Amen.

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