Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
This scripture can be a puzzler. What does it really mean to be “of God”? Does that mean I will then hear his voice as I can hear the voice of any speaking human?
First off, being “of God” is actually a rather simple thing on our parts. Jesus did all the heavy lifting for us. Does that mean we have to be pure in all things to hear God’s voice? Absolutely not. News flash, try as we may, we are all Sinners. The sooner we accept that, the faster we can grow in Christ. We will make mistakes and feel unworthy, but Jesus paid that price for us so that we could be “of God” and reap that priceless benefits that come with it.
So why don’t I hear God’s voice?
Don’t get caught up in the Hollywood renditions of our favorite movies. We are humans, with human limitations and if you are looking to your ears to hear God, then you have deafened yourself to his word. Let’s face it, if I heard God’s audible booming voice calling out to me, I’d probably pee my pants. Not that it wouldn’t be amazing, but I as a human have my limitations. Likely he’d then have to heal my heart from the heart-attack I would have, so that I could finish listening to what he had to say.
God has created an amazing world, with wonders so much more amazing than the sense of hearing. Eye sight for instance If you had to give up hearing or eyesight, which would it be? I personally would give up hearing. Now ask yourself, if you had a choice to keep only one, which would you chose to keep : eyesight, hearing or feelings? The power to feel things on your skin, to love another, to experience the magical power of endorphins… well I’d have to stick with feelings, though navigating life would be much more difficult without sound or sight, I couldn’t image walking around numb.
Think of the science behind sight, hearing and feelings. To experience the wide menu of feelings, the simple science behind them is far more complex than the science behind the other two.
So I ask you, if our God is far more complex than the genetic makeup of a human being, then why would we assume his voice be the simplest process of our code?
Think of the complexity of our brains. What goes into making, storing and accessing memories. Our brain is a physical realm that science has yet to break the code for. We can’t transplant our memories, or project them onto a screen. And how in the world does our Brain generate a NEW thought? Why do we not utilize all of our brain? What would happen if we did?
So quite possibly, we need to factor in both brain and feelings into ‘hearing’ God’s voice. I truly believe, and in my case anyway, that our brains register God’s work, and our feelings confirm it.
That’s a pretty simple statement for a very complex realization, right? The hardest part of hearing God’s voice is tuning in to the right channel. Picture the old analog radio that you had to ‘tweak’ to get the best reception of a particular channel. And that was IF you actually knew the channel number you wanted. Do any of you remember ‘scanning’ the channels looking for an unknown station? You scanned, and scanned, and tuned, and then it might be on a commercial so you had to wait, only to find out that “Yuck, you were on a classical station”, and so the process repeated until either you found what you were looking for, or you got tired of scanning and gave up. Don’t even get me started on the antenna and the aluminum foil.
Well, unfortunately God’s radio station isn’t quite digital, but it’s also much easier than the old analog system. The secret is that we have to ‘reprogram’ ourselves a bit.
Do you remember when you were younger, the realm of your imagination? Oh we had imaginary friends, pretend playtime and adventure In our head that seemed so real, at times we gave ourselves nightmares. I remember getting scared at what monster I thought was in the room, and running to the safety of my father’s lap while he watched his old westerns. Movies lingered in our minds and often clouded reality with the ideas and ‘imagination’ the movie had planted there. And what did our parents tell us? “It’s ok, it’s just your imagination, it’s not real.” And in many cases they were right. There wasn’t a monster in my room, the evil witch was not going to come take my princess crown, and my imaginary unicorn friend really didn’t exist either.
However, in this process of learning “imagination from reality” we actually are learning to discount our feelings and thoughts. Many of us maintain a few of these as adults that we refer to as ‘hunches’, but otherwise are immune to the “someone in the closet” type of thinking. Oh we may sometimes get creeped out by a dark window and feel like someone is watching, but the emotional reality is not as big as it would have been for us as a child. Why? Because we’ve learned to numb our feelings from our random thoughts. Instead we’ve been taught, and or taught ourselves, which kind of thoughts are allowed to access our feelings & how much feelings said thoughts can have.
So why is it a problem?
Example 1: I’m in the supermarket and the person in front of me is short on cash.
○ I have the thought “I should help them out”. If the amount is just a little, likely no one needs any further guidance.
○ What if they are short by a lot. Like $100 dollars short, and I “think” … “I should help them out”. But can I? I have bills too. Maybe I’m in a position where $100 is a big hit to me. Maybe that could mean less groceries for MY family this week.
Consider: When I say “I THINK”, we often assume that thought is our own. But what if it’s not. What if that thought is actually God’s Voice telling us to help out this person? Likely the thoughts of doubt thereafter are surely our own.
Confirmation: FEEL! It’s never easy to discern our own thoughts from the Voice of God. Trust ‘your gut’. The feeling behind the situation. And ultimately TRUST GOD most of all. Trust that he has YOUR best interests at heart, and that he will not let your fall (or starve) in this example.
Example 1 is a much easier concept to grasp as our feelings are already engaged (or trained) for human compassion.
But what if the feeling go against our nature?
Example 2: I have a busy life of work and family. I often travel, run from place to place and rarely feel like I have any time in the day for myself. In the middle of a busy day, while driving the kids to practice & calculating in my head what I need to pick up at the grocery store, I randomly think “I should really read my bible more”.
Is that MY Thought, or GOD’s Voice?
My guess is that is likely God’s voice, interrupting your busy routine to help guide you on your path. It could be that you are starting to stray, or it could be that you simply could use some rejuvenation of the soul. I good test is to ask yourself if the context of your ‘thought’ is in line with something that Jesus would approve of. “That guy is so stupid I should punch him in the face” contradicts the Love that Jesus teaches, so that’s probably your own random thought 🙂
Beware the seeds of Doubt:
○ I don’t have enough time in the day as it is
§ I’m reminded of a testimony by Amy Grant (the Singer/Songwriter) who discussed her battle with not feeling like she had enough time with her kids, but felt God’s call for her to spend more time with him. She “FELT” his promise that if she would devote time to him, he would give her BETTER time with her kids. And her devotion goes on to explain, that is exactly what happened. She heard God’s voice in her mind, She felt the confirmation in her heart, and God came through on what he promised.
§ Suggestion: If you’re a busy on-the-goer pick up a short devotional to keep in your car, desk drawer or travel bag. You can find these with small one-page blips and bible verses. Ultimately, God has something to say to you, and he will make sure it appears in whatever text you seek. I also find that carrying or keeping one of these handy helps remind me that God is with me.
§ Also, in today’s world, you can do a quick Google Search via your wireless device to get a quick fix of God’s word. This even makes it easier for you to search the relevant topic. (Such as “Busy Mom”). And believe that God, who created all things, can quite easily return the exact search result you need.
○ I don’t even remember where my Bible is
§ Do you have internet?
○ I’m not exactly the best Christian, or even “I’m not a Christian”, that’s ludicrous to think that God could/would speak to me. The verses even say so..
§ Malarkey! Read the story of Jesus. God sent his only Son to earth. The only perfect human to ever walk the earth, and who did he hang out with? It wasn’t the Holy people, .. Nope, he hung out with the sinners. Among his chosen disciples were thieves and murders.
□ Think about that for a moment. God comes to earth, and who does he raise up to be his closes disciples? Thieves and murders. Even more, he went and searched THEM out. SO rethink that seed of doubt carefully.
Always note the Coincidences:
Quite possibly this is the most important to me, and the most common way that God has spoken to me throughout my lifetime.
What is a Coincidence?
By Definition, “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection”
We have all had these happen in our life. This is something that is out of the ordinary enough to make us pause for a moment, but ultimately we’ve learned to numbly shrug this off and say “that’s a coincidence”. And when we say that, our emotional state is far more numb than the definition reads “… REMARKABLE concurrence..” Think about that for a minute.
Sometimes God uses Coincidences to pull our head out of the stagnant cycle we’ve been caught up in. This is a great attention getter when our minds and feelings are not tuned into his station. Think of it a commercial or trailer for something that perks our interest. The idea is then to go learn more about said interest. In this case, what is God trying to tell me. Tune in!
In my case, when I see these I take a step back, and often there are a string of coincidences left for me that line up perfectly into a direction. I like to call these “bread crumbs” that he leaves for me to follow.
My Example: (I couldn’t possibly list them all, so I’ll use this one particular instance)
○ I have always enjoyed singing, and life left me away from former friends who also enjoyed music
○ Out of nowhere one day, I start to “Crave” singing like a thirsty man craves water
○ I do an online search for people in my area who may be interested in playing music
○ 1st search comes up with a band seeking female vocalist that fits my description
○ Reading to the end of the post, said post was by my favorite local band. Wow.
○ Didn’t think I had a chance in heck of actually getting an audition (they are great), I “FEEL” compelled to send a sound clip anyway
○ I get an audition
○ Lead singer explains how he got his start in Gospel Music. (Lined up with my husband and I’s conversation recently at that time, on finding a church to attend)
○ Audition inspires me even more to sing, of course I don’t get the gig. Band breaks up instead
○ Electrically charged to sing with no avenue to play with others, I decide to learn keyboard
○ I download an online course, and pick this up far faster than a human probably should
○ Before I complete the course, I’m finding chord progressions I like, and I start writing music / songs.
○ Three months later, while on vacation, my cousin calls to see if I still play base (I had dabbled years back)
○ I tell him no, but that I’m learning keyboard
○ He gets super excited and says ” I need a keyboard player, I’m putting together a gospel band”
○ He invites me to Church the next Sunday, so we go
○ Before we leave for Church, he calls and says the drummer is out sick, and asks if I can fill in (again I had dabbled years back)
○ 1st Church service I attend, I’m playing drums to songs I don’t know
○ 2nd Church service, , the Pastor asks me on the spot to come sing with the band. He didn’t even know I could sing
○ Two months later, I’m standing on stage during practice and it hits me… “When did I join the worship team?”
In this example, God pulled me out of my stagnant path, and dropped bread crumbs to get be back to him. Almost three years later I’m still in the worship at that church. I’ve grown enormously in Christ since going there and am very thankful that he showed me my path, even when I wasn’t looking, even when I wasn’t following him, but instead living for myself. I was not a model Christian, and couldn’t fathom that I of all people should be on stage representing him. But he has shown me through forgiveness and patients that this was my spiritual path, and that music was the bond that kept ME tied to Him.
I urge you to take note of the coincidences in your life. Write them down and reflect on them and the situations around them later.
To sum this up, God’s voice is in everything. It is in the leaves that tell us it’s about to rain, it’s in the sky that tells us the night is clear. His voice is in events that lead us where we are going. And most of, God’s voice is IN US.
John 14: 16-17
16″I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.