LISTENING TO GOD
A guide on how to recognise God's voice
and how to react to it.
I am not so na´ve as to not know
that this may seem suspect to you (that is, God speaks), especially if
have not even had exposure to close family or friends, possessing
with you, who can vouch for the fact. But, it certainly happens!
say firstly, that God makes a regular point of speaking to individuals
through other gifted individuals, within the Born Again/ Charismatic
movement in the Church. You might have to trust me a bit at this
point. This stuff is explained in the article “Gifts from the Spirit”.
But for all that, I am not talking about what goes on in ‘the movement’ here. Rather, I am discussing how
God really can speak to anyone of us, at any time, under any
circumstances ... if he wishes to do so.
Actually, only God knows how the ancient
tribes of Israel came to be the first people to recognise his voice, and why he
chose them to
make it clear
that he did speak.
God’s voice is not normally heard
through our ears under these circumstances. He is usually heard within our minds. God’s
words are one-on-one
and personal. I accept through faith that he is intimately involved with every human life, and is capable of listening
and talking to every one of us at any given moment. Consider the logistics
it is not a common experience, even as a Christian, to receive messages
in this way from God during life. So when it does happen, it is extremely faith
building to recognise his
voice; know that we are actually being addressed by him.
2. RECOGNISING HIS VOICE
I suppose the obvious question for
the doubter is, “How can we know it is God speaking and not just our
own thoughts?” In fact, there is no doubt that many personal
thoughts of Christians are attributed to messages
It can be very handy to think that we have God on side, to justify our
agendas. There have been some high powered examples of this over past
So how can we know that God is the
source of the message in our minds that we attribute to him? There are
potentially two other sources – our own brain functions
and Satan. As far as Christians are
concerned, one sure fired way
of knowing that it isn’t
God speaking is if the
telling us to do something which conflicts with Biblical truths.
requires us to be familiar with the Bible. Yet, a sense of common
‘right and wrong’ will go a long way to helping us here. And we hear of
some drastic examples,
don’t we? Religious wars and hatred have been with us for
centuries. Men and
women leave their families to form relationships with new more
partners. These things happen, and the perpetrators often tell us they
done it at God’s direction. I say, “Get a grip!”
These sorts of messages may not come
from their own thoughts, but they certainly
don’t come from God either.
I ask again, how do you know
whether it is God talking to you? From my own experience, the sound of
God’s voice is
somehow clearer, or crisper, than the ‘sound’ of my own
thoughts. Some other Christians, who I have asked, think of the
experience as more a strong sense of ‘intuiting’ a message from him.
His voice is explained as an ‘impression’, a very real one, to still other folks.
might explain the sensation, it is true to say
that recognition of
voice grows through personal experience.
3. ACTING ON HIS DIRECTIONS
There are certainly times too when I am
much more confident that it is God speaking to me than others. His ‘voice’
loud when he is really serious about something, in effect
like a crystal clear
my head. I have found that it is not a good idea to ignore the
They are, to my experience, normally directions from God to do
important for other people, or not
something that will adversely affect them. On the occasions that
I ignored his louder messages I came to regret letting down
As a practising Christian, it is through our acting on his directions, or not acting upon them, that the proof of the message’s source actually occurs. We’ll
firstly sense that the directive seems an important thing to act upon.
And we will subsequently see the obvious results of our
actions. They are standouts!
Continue to the next article, “Trusting God day to day”.