Experiencing GOD: Hearing Voices

In his book, Experiencing GOD, Blackaby comments,

“Sin has so affected us (see Romans 3:10-11) that you and I cannot understand GOD’s truth unless the Holy Spirit reveals it. He is the Teacher. When He teaches you the Word of GOD, carefully listen to Him and respond to Him. As you pray, watch to see how He uses the Scripture to confirm in your heart a word from GOD. Watch what He is doing around you and in your circumstances. The GOD who is speaking to you as you pray and the GOD who is speaking to you in the Scriptures is the GOD who is also working around you” (Blackaby, Blackaby, & King, 2007, p.43).

Henry’s comment really hit home as I survey my life right now. Truth be told, between my iPod, iMac, iWork, and iChat, I have enough noise in my life to drown out an atomic explosion, much less the voice of GOD.

And sadly enough, most of the time this noise is not the sounds of the secular world; For me, these are often the decibels of ministry, religion, and good works. Even the “right things” in my life may drown out the voice of GOD.

Further, as proud as I may be of my astute answers in Sabbath School, or some profound insight I share in small group, Romans 3, makes it clear that I really “don’t get it.” My own, self-generated efforts to be spiritual are moot, and my eloquent religious comments come from a throat that is an open grave (Romans 3:13). Wow.

It is only in surrender, submission and faith in Jesus Christ that I have righteousness (Romans 3:21-26). And Blackaby suggests that it is through the tutoring of the Holy Spirit that I can discern GOD’s voice, or should I say voices.

  • Hearing GOD’s voice through the study of the Bible.
  • Hearing GOD’s voice through an intimate prayer life.
  • Hearing GOD’s voice by observing what Jesus is doing in the world.

As I turn down the volume in my iWorld, as I surrender to Jesus, as I submit to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, I have great hopes to clearly hear the voices of GOD speak to me. I trust you too will hear the voices.

GOD has not changed. He still speaks to His people.

About A Allan Martin, PhD, CFLE

Jeremiah 24/7
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Experiencing GOD: Hearing Voices

  1. Steve Webb says:

    Sometimes when I start doing something I know I shouldn’t, I can hear God telling “hey Steve, what the heck are you doing? You know you don’t want to do that.” You know, sometimes I still give in. What hurts is knowing that I have broken God’s heart.

  2. Mithun says:

    In my experience, which is short as my prayer life is merely beginning to bud, I’ve found God’s leading in three main ways:

    (1) A coincidence of sources. Sometimes when God has led me, it has been through messages hitting me from multiple angles. For example, a few months ago, God really convicted me of the need for openness and honesty in everyday life within me and the Church, and He did it first through a book called “Kingdom of Couches” that I read, then the next day by, as a ‘coincidence,’ having John 3:19-21 as part of my daily Bible study, and then a third time by having me go to a Church I normally don’t attend where the sermon was on the honesty of David. I knew there was something God wanted me to meditate on and live out.

    (2) Closing and opening doors. Other times, God speaks to me by creating and/or eliminating opportunities. An example of this happened early this summer when I began praying for God to show me what service ministry I should engage in this summer. On my own I compiled a list of about six volunteer opportunities, and after praying about it some more, I started calling all the prospects. For one reason or another—be it the phone line was busy, there was no working phone, the organization ceased to exist—none of the opportunities panned out. Except one. The opportunity turned out to be perfect for me and for the organization which desperately needed help. I am still volunteering for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) today, helping with abused and neglected children.

    (3) Passion. The last way God speaks to me is by placing passion in my heart. Sometimes, I’ll read His Word, and a fire will light up within me, as with Jeremiah:
    “His word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
    I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.” – Jeremiah 20:9
    I love those fires.

    That said, it would be nice if He audibly talked to me sometime…

  3. Stan Patterson says:

    There are some benefits to growing older. Not too many–just some. One of them is the long-tested friendships with people who have over time built a level of trustworthiness that allows for trusted counsel. When I have a major life decision to make (just made one) they are the audible reflection of the community empowered by God with spiritual authority on this earth. I take the collective voice very seriously and feel that the Scripture supports such a position by counseling God-followers to seek safety in a multitude of counsel. Not just any counsel but that of God-fearing people who have earned the spiritual bona fides to speak to clarify the voice of the Master.

  4. Mike says:

    Without fail… God speaks to me most clearly through my two boys Jeremiah and Elijah. There are times when I am down and out and wondering where God is in my life and at that exact time… one or both of them will come tell me how much they love me. There are times that in the rush of my life I will forget to bless a meal and they will stop me and remind me to pray. Their are even time when I am putting them to bed ant the end of a LONG day and one will say that we should remember to remember God. I have no gretaer blessing in my life than my two sons!!!

  5. alfrado says:

    god speaks to me in quite a unique way he uses the pain to touch me and points me in the direction he want s me to follow, by this i mean he sends me to do something for young people has he knows it’s my passion and i usually get so engrossed that for while the pain seems to have gone. that’s how he relieves my pain.

  6. Zane says:

    Lately, I have been surprised to hear God speaking to me through people who are not Christian, or even religious, and sometimes even anti-religious!

  7. Sheri Denny says:

    Believing there is a voice trying to speak to me. Hearing the voice of God. I am certain that sometimes I allow the constant roar into my life for the very reason that I don’t really want to hear what that voice is trying to say. I’m not certain I want the change it could bring.

    The only messages I have ever received that I have no doubt were from God were pleas to quiet the noise in my life. Messages of grace … to do nothing but be still in His presence. I came to Him ready for an intense experience and nearly demanding a deep spiritual revelation. But I was met with His voice saying, “You don’t have to do anything to come to me. You don’t have to be “on.” Just rest, my child, and spend this time with me.”

    My self worth has always been linked with what I DO. Under the surface even though I know better, my core belief is that what I produce defines me. Yet God’s only messages to me have been that He wants to be with me not for what I do for Him, but for who I am. Even throughout my rebellion He shows that I am His cherished, adored child.

    I understood this most clearly in a Focusing Leaders meeting with Gary Brady, when he asked those of us who have children why we wanted a child in the first place. When we thought about having a baby were we enamored with the idea of having somebody to wash the dishes; take out the trash and to DO things for us to SERVE us? No; when we envisioned having a child we thought about the times we could spend together talking, enjoying life together, relaxing and just being with one another. We didn’t have a child because of the things they could DO for us. It was for the joy of being in their presence — knowing and loving them.
    Such a beautiful thought. Painting the picture of a God who “had us” to be a family, enjoy life together and talk with one another.

    May I turn down the volume enough during the coming weeks/months to crack this book and allow His voice in to speak to me and lavish me with His messages of mercy and outrageous grace.

  8. aamphd says:

    Steve,
    I hear those same voices. And I think part of my heart breaks too as I “do that which I do not want to do.” Thank GOD He can save me, even from myself. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Mithun,
    It is almost freaky how GOD can light up the radar to get our attention. As for doors, although I certainly concur, I am not so much a fan of this method since I, being stubborn, often find myself going through doors that GOD never intended for me to open. I am praying like you I will feel a passion welling up within, pouring out into the world. Thanks for your comments here.

    Stan,
    I wholeheartedly concur that there is something powerful in a community of believers who can offer counsel with great wisdom and GOD-given insight. I have found the voice of mentors, accountability colleagues, and GOD-fearing friends some of my most treasured resources. BTW, glad for the decision you recently made.

    Mike,
    What a precious gift our children are! My daughter helps me aspire to being a better Christ follower that I am. What a witness! You are so right Mike!

    Alfrado,
    Pain indeed gets our attention. I have hopes that GOD will bring healing to our lives so that pain can be more of a memory than a constant reality.

    Zane,
    You remind me of the poignant nooma entitled “Breathe.” What an ominpotent GOD we serve! He will use what ever He wants to speak to us. Great point!

    Sheri,
    Thanks for your candor. What a precious paradigm shift, to know GOD wants people not performances. I pray the volume will decrease and grace will increase for you and for me.

    Seems like you too are hearing voices. It’s good to be in your company and to know I am not alone.

  9. Zane says:

    Alan,

    Hearing these voices…Maybe we’re all going crazy together! =)

  10. aamphd says:

    Hello Zane,
    Well if we’re going crazy together, then I’m assured to have people I know in group therapy!
    On a related note, excited for what is happening in NYC and the Advent Hope Cafe!

  11. saraleoni says:

    I am jealous of those who have heard the voice becase I haven’t, that I can remember. At one time, in middle school, I had this whole God thing figured out but not anymore. And when people seemingly less holy/spiritual/godly/whatever than I are having God speak to them and I’m not (namely my sister), it’s frustrating.
    I have a friend that is highly skeptical of people who seek God’s will; he knows some who have gone off the deep end over asking God about everything. His philosophy is that God only has a specific will for a few people, such as the prophets, but just a general “be happy, follow my commands, the rest is all you” will for the rest of us. Don’t know that I agree on that.
    Also, I suck at praying. I can pray but not for extended periods of time. Truth be told, I get bored. And being still waiting for a response after prayer…at best I can do five minutes, or at least what seems like five minutes before I’m moving. I’m lucky if I can make thirty seconds keeping my thoughts focused on God. Of course, I never seem to get a response. Tried staying in place until I got an answer; that lasted until noon before I got sore and had to move. So what now?

  12. aamphd says:

    Hey saraleoni,
    You are not alone. Do you have a copy of “Experiencing GOD” by Henry Blackaby, and are you joining us in doing the “book club” thing this summer. Many like you (and me) struggle with hearing GOD’s voice and following His will. I hope several will pipe up with their struggles, but I know speaking for myself, I get lost in the noise of my life.

    I hope you will do the book club with us. We’re not looking to go off the deep end, but I get a sense that GOD is about more than what I’ve made my religion to be about. I am glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t have GOD all figured out.

  13. carolynmacomber says:

    Saraleoni,
    I just found this post after I wrote a post in answer to another question you asked. Thank you so much for sharing . . . Just this morning I was trying to pray and read my Bible and a book I’m reading during my devotional time . . . I don’t think I could put two sentences together – and hold them there ——before my mind had wondered off . . . it was maddening . . . Waiting to hear God answer your prayer or being still . . . you are right it is sometimes frustrating! I would say rather than force the issue . . . get up and do something else . . . sometimes for me I pray and ask God something . . . don’t get a response, but then later in the day or week or month . . . I’m impressed with an answer. Have no clue why that is . . . I certainly don’t have the “prayer” thing all figured out either – but I still pray and still seek and still search.

    Glad you’ve joined this blog . . . I look forward to more good questions. . .

    Carolyn

  14. aamphd says:

    Carolyn,

    You’re not alone on not having “prayer” figured out. Which prompts my brain to pop out another question, “Why do I need to have it all figured out.”

    When my wife and I were dating, she used to get so excited when we would see a limosine on the highway. She thought that such transportation was exclusively used by celebrities and VIPs. So her curious mind would wonder what grammy-award-winning-artist or all-star-athlete or billionnaire-philanthropist was riding in the limo.

    One day, I told her, with a dull matter of fact attitude, that anyone an rent a limosine. Kids rent them for proms; you can hire one at the airport just like a taxi. I thought I was so smart.

    From that day on, she has not has the same joy and excitement that she once had. I stole that away because I had it all “figured out.”

    I’m not saying that’s how you meant it, your “figured out” comment, that’s just what popped into my head. Thanks so much for your comments here and all throughout this blog. They are treasured.

    May GOD continue to spark mystery and wonder and awe as we pursue Him passionately.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s