Currently I’m sitting outside in the warm, breezy sunshine writing. I started to write on another topic when I heard the sweet whisper of the Father to change course and write about hearing His voice. So, here we go! Let’s journey together on hearing God’s voice.
There are several misconceptions, wrong beliefs and confusion around hearing God’s voice. I hope to clarify some of those misconceptions and champion you on to your own journey in hearing His voice. This will be a two part blog, so sit tight as we build our foundation.
Let me start at the beginning of my journey.
I grew up in a christian home, with parents who regularly heard God’s voice and talked about the things of God. I knew God talked because He talked to my parents and adults all the time. What I didn’t really understand was, that even as a child, He loved to talk to me; that it wasn’t reserved for “super Christians.” It was part of my inheritance as a Daughter. Did I hear His voice as a child? Probably. Did I know it? I’ll be honest, if I did, I second guessed myself. Below are the reasons why I struggled…but thankfully He kept pursuing me and by the age of 12 I knew hearing God’s voice was for everyone, and it was actually way more simple than I ever imagined.
Wrong Belief #1 Hearing God’s voice is only for the Super Spiritual Christian
The first lie I believed was that I had to be a super spiritual Christian to hear God’s voice. I thought I needed to be an adult or at the very least mature in the faith…even though my Sunday school teachers said God talked to every one. That didn’t really click though, and it wouldn’t for many years. This hindered me from even trying. Did I pray? Yes, but it was always one sided, me just sharing my heart or praying for different things. I never sat down and practiced listening. I didn’t practice listening because I didn’t have faith that I would actually hear. It’s your inheritance as a child of God to hear God’s voice. I’ve come so far now, that it doesn’t even cross my mind if I am hearing God’s voice or not. And I want you to get to that place too. Jesus says in John, that His sheep hear His voice and to another they will not follow (John 10:27,5). We have the Holy Spirit in us. “Who can know the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God?” (1 Corinthians 2:11). Similarly 1 Corinthians 2:16 goes on to say, that we have the mind of Christ. When we accept Christ as Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes up residence. He helps us know and hear the thoughts of God. It is God’s desire that you hear His voice. It not only blesses Him that you have conversations, but He knows it is the life source to His heart. Of course the enemy wants you to second guess…He doesn’t want you connected to the Father of Life.
Think about this in a natural sense. As a mother, I don’t tell my children they aren’t behaving good enough to hear me talk to them. I mean… that sounds so rediculous. But those are the very thoughts I used to have. No parent would say, “well Johnny. You aren’t mature enough or acting very good, so I’m going to just sit here and not answer you and hope you can sort yourself out. I know you’re only three..but you should be acting more mature by now. And then maayyybbee I’ll talk to you, help you and answer that request.” You might be laughing at that. Quite honestly, I’m chuckling myself. But that is exactly the scenario we think God is doing to us. We don’t even give Him the opportunity because we feel like we aren’t “good enough” yet. By staying in this mindset we actually stunt our growth.
And just as a side note, we will never be “good enough” on our own. Isaiah 64:4 says our “righteousness is like filthy rags…” (that means trying to do things to be good enough, outside of what Christ did on the cross). But 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Because Christ has made us right with God…It’s our inheritance to hear the voice of God! This is such great news! Woo! It’s by hearing His loving voice that we grow. It’s by having those God moments and God encounters where He speaks His love into our hearts that causes us to flourish and become “mature”, but we don’t have to wait and shouldn’t wait because God so desires to pour out His love into our hearts now.
Wrong Belief #2 Not good Enough/God’s angry at me
I touched on the not good enough a little bit above…When I was younger I also believed that if I had been behaving badly or not “up to par” spiritually (praying regularly, reading my Bible, being unkind/ also goes back to the “super Christian” belief), God was mad, angry or disappointed in me. Therefore, even if I could hear His voice, I didn’t want to hear His voice. Why? Because I was so afraid I would hear harsh or angry words, and my tender, young heart couldn’t bear the thought of disappointing Him and not having His approval.
Many people walk around day after day believing God is angry. Sometimes they don’t even know why they believe that, they just do. (I found this to be true evangelizing on the Australian streets). I can’t remember who said it, but there’s a saying that goes like this, “The enemy lies about two things, the goodness of God and who you are before God.” If the accuser can get you to believe God is angry at you or that your place before God is in jeopardy, he knows it will shut you down. Who wants to be intimate with someone who is angry and judgmental? Um. Not me. Is God angry and judgmental? NOT. AT. ALL. 1 John 4:7-20 gives us such a great glimpse at the heart of God and His great love for us. I also love what Exodus says, God Himself tells us who He is!
The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “YAHWEH! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness!
Wrong Belief #3 I just can’t Hear God’s Voice
When I was young, even though adults, teachers and my parents all said children could hear God’s voice, I didn’t really believe that. I wanted to believe it. I tried to believe it, but I just didn’t get it. I should have looked at the life of Samuel a little better. Jewish historians believe he was about 11 when he first heard God’s voice (1 Samuel 3).
When we were in Australia, one of my favorite Pastors would often say, “if you don’t think you can hear God’s voice, it is that very faith in your unbelief that will keep you from hearing His voice.” What if it’s by faith in a wrong belief/ unbelief that keeps you from hearing? (Romans 1:17 “The righteous live by faith”) Hearing God’s voice takes practice and intentionality. Don’t get discouraged if it’s not an instantaneous thing.
Wrong Belief #4 What if I Interpret Wrong?
My fear of “not being good enough” before God brought so much fear into my heart. Since I believed I wasn’t good enough or a “super christian,” I then believed another lie: what if I did try to talk to God, but really I was just talking to myself? Or worse yet, what if I talked to the devil?!
Maybe you’re laughing at that, and it does seem a bit silly. But these are real thoughts that not just I had, but honestly many people have. I’ve had many conversations with friends or family about this very topic. When we hear God’s voice it will never contradict the Bible. So even if I thought I heard “I love you” and it was totally myself, but I thought it was from God, I’m still agreeing with what God’s Word says. I also, highly doubt the devil will tell you he loves you.
If any of these lies or belief systems resonate with you, I want you to know you don’t have to live there. You don’t have to believe those lies any more. You can come out of agreement with them and break their stronghold. Pastor Katherine Ruonala often says, “your quiet time with the Lord is one of the most hotly contested things. The enemy hates it.” Why? because I know when I get alone with God and talk to Him I receive so much encouragement, direction, wisdom, strength, LOVE and insight in my times with the Lord. He gives me boldness to walk the path He has for me.
I thank you Jesus for each one who reads this. God I thank you for their desire to grow in hearing Your voice. Father, I thank you that it is our inheritance to hear your voice and commune with you. I pray right now that any wrong beliefs that may be hindering them would be broken and the truth would set their hearts free to receive from you. I pray that this week as they sit down with You, they would hear the sweet and tender voice of Love. I thank you Jesus that it is your desire to speak into the hearts of each one, in Jesus name, Amen.