HEARING GOD'S VOICE
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 NIV
There are many voices clamoring for our attention. These voices seek to guide, distract, direct, and even destroy. It is important to understand the voices and ultimately learn to discern God’s voice of truth.
The most obvious voice that wants to direct our lives is our own. The “flesh” is a powerful voice. The mind tells us what to think. The will tells us what we want. The emotions tell us what to feel. According to Romans 8:5, this voice often rises from the natural, human flesh: “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (NIV). We see images. We have emotions and feelings. Desires are ever-present. The flesh is unreliable, at best.
Another type of voice that seeks to direct us is the voice of people all around us. God does speak through others, but there are many other voices that are destructive. How do you tell the difference?
The third type of voice you will hear early, often, and long is the voice of the enemy of your soul. The devil deceived one-third of Heaven’s angels, and he has perfected his act immensely since tricking Adam and Eve. No, he doesn’t appear as the red, cloven-hooved terror with a pitchfork. Often he appears through our thoughts. He distracts us with a barrage of ungodly messages. He seeks to overwhelm, terrorize, seduce and do whatever it takes to destroy you and your loved ones. No wonder God tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).
Thankfully, God’s voice is assured for each of us who call upon His name.
His voice, however, is often the most subtle of all voices, since He seeks to speak through each person’s spirit, not through the clamoring of the flesh and outside voices. We often want to hear God through supernatural, spectacular and sensational words. God seldom speaks that way. He seeks to direct our paths through His presence, His Word, prayer, His Spirit, and even sometimes, through circumstances. To hear His voice, however, we must learn to go beyond the shallow surface and go deeper where the Spirit of God lives within us.