Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Hearing, Discerning, and Knowing God’s Voice

 Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Then he said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.” At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 1 kings 19:11-12 CSB

Hearing, Discerning, and Knowing God’s Voice

How do we respond to and push back against the noise in our lives so that we can clearly hear, discern, and know God’s voice and obey Him?

Be where God wants you to be.

We won’t hear God’s voice if we are in the wrong place, filling our heads with wrong things, and hanging out with the wrong people. You might feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but you won’t hear that still small voice of God that he uses when he communicates with his children. If we want to hear his voice we need to be walking The Jesus Way and that means the choices we make and the actions we take all align with his word and glorify his name. So if you really want to hear from God you need to always be in close proximity with him – being in places that glorify him, filling your head with things that glorify him, and spending time with other people that are walking The Jesus Way. 

Learn to recognize God’s voice.

My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

The most important thing to know about recognizing God’s voice is that we will only hear his voice if we belong to him. If we are in a growing relationship with God we will know his voice. When we are living The Jesus Way, we will be prioritizing our relationship with him over everything else in our lives. We will be spending time in prayer and Bible study, and we will be spending time listening for his voice. Like Pastor Jim talked about Sunday, we also have to shut out the noise so we can hear him. 

In the Bible times, God did speak audibly to people and while he could speak audibly to people today, he primarily speaks to us through His Word. Sometimes we receive a word from God through other things like the Holy Spirit, our consciences, circumstances, and through the words of other people. By comparing what we hear to the truth of his word, we can learn to recognize God’s voice.

There will also be loving, caring, Christian friends who will give advice and counsel when needed and asked for. Although it may be advice and counsel that is glorifying to God, we still have to discern for ourselves if it is what he wants us to follow. Sometimes it will all be good and glorifying to God – no bad choices – but we still have to discern what his will is for our lives. This is not bad noise, but it is noise, and sometimes we need to get away from it all and just be still and quiet in God’s presence so we can hear his voice. 

Learn to obey God’s commands. 

Hearing God’s voice and knowing God’s commands are not enough. There is action required. Just knowing and not obeying is not how we live if we are really trying to live The Jesus Way. Living The Jesus Way will be evident in our words and actions – proving a life of obedience to him. 

Sometimes we like to use noise to numb ourselves to all that is going on in our lives that we do not want to face, or the truth we do not want to hear. We don’t have to hear our own voice or God’s voice if we turn up the volume. Some things we don’t want to hear because they are too painful to hear or deal with. As long as we can ignore them, we will. Some things we don’t want to hear because we know we will be convicted. We know the truth and we want to ignore it. But ignoring the truth or things we do not want to deal with does not change them or make them go away. We are either making it worse or prolonging the inevitable. Ignoring his truth is not being obedient to God. 

When we are trying to make a hard decision, it can be so hard to know if we are really hearing and discerning God’s voice. We may have a lot of noise in our heads and trying to sift through it all can be overwhelming. It is important not to make a hasty decision, but to spend time focusing on him and allowing for every other distraction and noise to fade except his voice. He will reveal himself and his will for our lives when we seek him. 

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