I am SO excited to start this new series with you. I have been pondering this for a LONG time, and I've been realizing that if there's anything I would want to leave this world knowing better, it's that you can hear God's voice. He can and wants to speak with you and guide you much better than any human can!
He's perfect in every way. He's not the type to give up on your or abandon you. He's all in with you, for all time. And after all, my husband and I DID start a church called Voice church. Why? Because we passionately believe that God wants to speak WITH each person, THROUGH each person, and through His church.
I can remember when I first started to get serious about God, I wondered WHAT in the world people meant when they would say "I heard God say_____ (fill in the blank)." To say I thought they were crazy was a bit of an understatement. But as I grew and learned to hear God's voice for myself, I realized it wasn't crazy at all.
I want to give you a BRIEF snapshot of what I've learned over the years. I'd like to break down some misconceptions about what it means to hear God's voice, how to hear it for yourself, and as a bonus I'll also be posting on my insta and facebook some visuals you can save and reflect on as to how to distinguish between the voice of God, and the lies of the enemy.
Have you ever watched an episode of Jimmy Fallon doing "the whisper challenge?" In short, the game is played by 2 people whose task is for one member of the duo to get the other member of the duo to be able to 'lip read' a phrase they whisper to them. The catch, however, is that the person guessing the phrase has to put on noise cancelling headphones with loud music playing in the background. It's an extra layer of confusion added to an already difficult task.
When they don't know each other, it's nearly impossible for them to guess the phrase. They don't know how the other person's mouth moves when they talk and they aren't familiar with their mannerisms. But when they DO know each other well, they can guess the phrase quickly! Why? Because they already have a keen sense of the person's mannerisms and the way they speak. Even in the midst of clutter and chaos, they can make out the words.
So... what does this have to do with hearing GOD's voice? It's a great depiction of our relationship w/ Jesus! The more you know Him, the better you know His voice and the better you can make out His words even in chaotic times of life.
Jesus has always referred to himself as a shepherd... a person who has vowed to lead and guide us through every phase of life- speaking to us, protecting us, feeding us, leading us, and healing us when we're hurt. The "sheep" who know His voice the BEST are the ones who've been in His company the MOST. They've spent time with Him. They've experienced His character.
John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." - Jesus
Why do I tell you that? Because I believe that God wants to talk to you TODAY about things relating to your life RIGHT NOW.
He has a purpose and plan for your life. He wants to show you how He made you with special gifts. He has solutions for your situations. He has answers to your questions. You just need to know how to hear.
Ephesians 1:17-18 “…I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers.”
So today, we'll start with the BASICS! The first steps are all about "clearing the noise clutter" so we can hear. Here goes!
- Believe: Open your heart.
God wants to speak with you, but first your heart must be open. The first step to hearing and knowing God is to believe He exists! How can you hear someone if you don't even believe they're real?
Ever had an imaginary friend as a child? They seemed so real we could almost hear their voice (a figment of our own imagination)! But God IS real, and he IS speaking but first, you have to believe. (By the way, our imagination couldn't even begin to think up HIS thoughts. We'll discuss that later.)
Rev. 3:20-22 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends
Romans 10:9-10 “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
2. Make it right: if you've been distant
Have any of you ever been in an argument with a friend? Then when you see each other the next day... it’s awkward! You do whatever you can to avoid each other. You stop showing up at the places they normally are.
In all honesty, there may be people reading this right now who have intentionally avoided the places God has been because of the awkwardness. You've got beef with God. You're mad at Him, or you believe He's mad at you. And so... you've tried to cut ties to stop the awkardness. You avoid church. You avoid Christians. You've even gone the OPPOSITE direction to try to get as far away from Him as possible.
Just like in any relationship, in order for it to move forward, the “air must be cleared” so we can learn to trust one another. God is a GOOD God, and He’s ready and willing to forgive and dare I say... be forgiven? He wants to reconcile with you as soon as you'll let Him.
Jesus came to BE the ultimate peace offering. In His death, He broke down the barrier between us, allowing us to come straight to Him and finally patch things up. Once you do that, NOTHING can stand between you.
Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
3. Grow: in Relationship
In every relationship, there are things we can do to build closeness and trust. We hang out together, encourage each other, bear our souls, listen to each other & surprise each other.
In our relationship with Jesus, we need to do the same thing!
First, pray. Prayer is SIMPLY talking to God. No pretending. He’s sees your heart, He knows your whole life already, and He’s not surprised by ANYTHING!
Just like any relationship, if you’re not regularly spending time together, you’re an acquaintance. An acquaintance is just in the background but not really making any impact on your life. God's not interested in that. He wants to be CLOSE, to be in on the DETAILS.
Bare your soul: Just speak from your heart. Tell Him your hurts, fears, needs, and thank Him for what He's done.
Matthew 6:7-13 (NLT)7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!
Make space: Find somewhere quiet you talk TO God, and focus on what He may be saying to you.
It's impossible to hear if we are constantly bombarded by other voices and activites that distract us. God sits patiently and waits... He won't interrupt.
Sometimes hearing God means REMOVING things from your day that create clutter-noise. Social media, web-surfing, netflix, maybe even just mindless chatter with a friend or neighbor that you know takes you down a path of negativity.
It's a choice to step away and sit in a quiet space. At first it may feel a little awkward to be alone, or feels like you're talking to "the air" but take a moment to lean into the silence. That's where He's waiting.
Read the Bible. Opening up to read your Bible for the first time can be confusing. Not only that, but it has a bad reputation for being un-relatable. Can I just say... it's been pegged WRONG!
This book has more drama than a Korean soap opera. It's packed with excitement, war, relevant advice, warnings, and God-secrets meant just for you. It’s what we call “living and active” which simply means it speaks to us right where we are at today.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
Read it in the full context. Just like with any book, you can’t jump in on a sentence just anywhere and expect to understand what it really means at that moment in the story. Dig around. Find out the history of that time and place. And for your own good... start in Luke. Trust me.
Try your best to understand it. John 13:17 “If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.”
Really try to see what the message is. God wants to share His secrets to living your best life and it's all in the Bible.
Apply It. Keep a journal and write down what you’re learning and how it could apply to you. Try to implement what you learned in your life… don’t just read it, live it!
Think about it. Psalms 1:2-3 “But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season, Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
When we take time to think about God's word and let it sink in, that's where God begins to reveal His secrets and thoughts.
God IS speaking- make sure you’re ready to listen.
Do your habits create a conversation with God, or is there clutter standing in your way?
What’s ONE way you can start listening for God’s voice today?
Hope this blessed ya'll today!