As promised, today’s blog was written by Leighann McCoy, one of our teacher’s from Worship Week 2015. Over the next few weeks, please continue to look for blogs posts from the classes taught during Worship Week.
It’s not that hard to hear God’s voice.
In fact, it’s quite easy. Most often the hard part is responding to Him in obedience. In John 14:23-26 Jesus said,
“If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not your own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
These verses tell us that God takes full responsibility for the success of communicating effectively with you. Here’s how I know this is the case:
- God initiates relationship with you and is more interested in being intimate with you than you are with Him.
- When you are consumed with love for someone you take the initiative to communicate with them.
- God knows you better than you know yourself therefore He knows best how to speak so that you will hear Him.
Here are 5 ways God speaks to us.
- God speaks through His Word.
- God speaks through other people.
- God speaks through praise and worship.
- God speaks through dreams and visions.
- God also speaks through a “voice” in our heads.
#5 is an addendum to what I wrote in my book, A Woman’s Guide to Hearing God’s Voice. I actually got in a verbal tussle with a guy online in response to an article I wrote where I stated that most often we don’t hear God audibly. He would be delighted to know that I’ve changed my mind—kind of…
While I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard God’s voice with my physical ears, I do know that I’ve heard His voice. I’ve heard it as clearly as I’ve heard any human voices. In fact, I have sometimes found it easier to hear and understand the voice of God than to hear and understand the voices of others.
But just in case you are hesitant to trust the voice you hear, consider these four reliable tests for discerning whether or not that voice in your head belongs to God.
- God will never say anything that goes against what He has written to us in His Word. (see Jeremiah 1:12)
- God’s voice will aggravate your flesh. (see Matthew 16:24). One of the things God often says is this, “You’ve got to get rid of that, Leighann. It’s not good for you.” And most often what I have to put away are my rights, the offenses I carry and anything else that naturally wants to look out for me and my glory rather than God and His glory.
- God’s voice will always lead toward better relationships with significant people in your life. His ways are always redemptive. (see Ephesians 4:32)
- God’s voice will be doable.
We read in Genesis 1 that God spoke the word and all the world came into “order.” God brings order to chaos. Whatever word God speaks to you will be applicable to what you are going through. And, even though it might lead to supernatural experiences, your part will be doable.
There are great examples of this throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament God told His people to march, to camp, to light torches and blow trumpets, to dip in water, to cook, to gather, to be tossed into the sea. In the New Testament people were told to put mud on their eyes, to divide crowds into small groups, to find a lunch, to come close enough to touch, to step out of the boat, the list can go on and on.
God’s voice is doable!
Before I close, I’d be amiss if I didn’t warn you that Satan and his demons are very good at mimicking the voice of God. This is where your personal relationship with God is crucial to developing the ability to hear His voice. So let me give you 3 tips on how you can develop the ability to hear God’s voice:
- Be still and quiet. Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
- If you don’t live in harmony with Jesus you can’t trust the voices in your head.
- Free yourself to “hear” God’s voice. Write down what you think you hear Him say, and then watch to see if what you heard was from God.
It’s not that hard to hear God’s voice. Decide now to develop spiritual discernment and anticipate a relationship with God that is rich with intimate communication.
Leighann McCoy is a pastor’s wife, mother and “nana.” She’s written numerous books including A Woman’s Guide to Hearing God’s Voice (published by Bethany House Publishers). Her newest book will be released in 2016, Spiritual Warfare for Families.