INTRODUCTION - Over the last few years I have been piecing together this study, thinking I would eventually start taking bite sized pieces and blogging on it. I hope some day I will get the opportunity to do so. But in the meantime, I thought some of you might profit from the outline (or parts of it that interest you).
One of the most damaging doctrines of demons I have ever been exposed to is the teaching that God no longer speaks, now that we have the Bible. I readily agree that some have gone to harmful extremes with their claims of how God has spoken to them. But part of maturing as Jesus's disciples is being able to look past extremes and abuses to what God clearly intended and willed for us, which is the ability by His Spirit to hear and heed His voice through whatever means - depending on the Scriptures as our guardrails for discerning what is truly His voice and what isn't.
May the Holy Spirit help us all to work through whatever we have to work through to ever more effectively hear and heed our Father's voice. If this simple study can help that process, then all glory be to His name!
I. God speaks; His voice is very powerful, & sometimes frightening/awesome.
One of the wonderful things about our God is that He is a living relational God, who speaks to His creation. God’s voice is not like a man’s voice though. It has accomplished and can still accomplish amazing things, and sometimes it causes grown men to tremble and want to hide.
Deuteronomy 4:33 "Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived?
Deuteronomy 5:22-26 "These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. And it came about, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. And you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives. 'Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we shall die. 'For who is there of all flesh, who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? “
Deuteronomy 18:16 This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, lest I die.'
2 Samuel 22:14 "The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice.
Job 40:9 "Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?
Psalms 18:13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.
Psalms 29:3-8 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
Psalms 46:6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted.
Psa. 68:33 “….Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.”
Isaiah 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.
Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard. And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire, In cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones.
Isaiah 30:31 For at the voice of the LORD Assyria will be terrified, When He strikes with the rod.
Creation of the Universe:
- How did God create the lights of the universe (sun, moon, stars)? Genesis 1:3 “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
Psalm 148:5 “Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created.”
II Peter 3:5,7 “For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, …. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Sustaining of the Universe:
- How do animals produce babies? Psalms 29:9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve,……….!"
Matthew 17:6 “When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.”
John 12:27-30 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “this voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.”
Hebrews 12:18,19 “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.”
Hebrews 12:26 “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet Once More I Will Shake Not Only The Earth, But Also The Heaven.”
John’s experience hearing Jesus’s voice Rev. 1:10 “loud voice like sound of a trumpet”; vs. 15 “His voice was like sound of many waters”
II. God sometimes in scripture contrasts non speaking idols to Himself as One who speaks. He wants to be known for this distinctive:
Psalm 135:15,16 “The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak,….”
III. God wants us to hear and obey His voice – Early Examples, Invitations, Commands & Promises
In normal every day life, God seems to speak more relationally and less dramatically.
- Adam & Eve – Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…” 1:29, “Then God said, “Behold I have give you every plant yielding seed….”. 2:16, 17 “The Lord Godcommanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,…”
- Cain – Genesis 4:6,7 “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?”
- Noah – Genesis 6:13 “Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence….”
- Abraham – Genesis 12:1 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives….”
- Sarah – Genesis 18:15 “Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
- David – II Chronicles 6:4 “He (Solomon) said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hands…”
- Psalmist - Psalm 85:8 “I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.”
B. Invitations and Promises:
- Exodus 15:26 And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer."
- Numbers 7:89 Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.
- Deuteronomy 4:30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice.
- Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
- Psalm 81:8,13 "Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! ... 13 "Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!”
- Psalms 95:7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,
- Isaiah 1:2 “Listen, O heavens and hear, O earth; For the Lord speaks,…”
- Isaiah 32:9 Rise up you women who are at ease, And hear my voice; Give ear to my word, You complacent daughters.
- Isaiah 41:1 "Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment.”
- Isaiah 46:3,12 "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb; ... 12 "Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness.”
- Isa. 48:12,16 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. ... 16 "Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit." –
- Isa. 55:1-3 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.”
- Matthew 19:19,20 “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
- Matthew 19:27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”
- Hebrews 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking……”
III. All the promises of God are for those who hear and obey His voice
Genesis 22:18 And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
Exodus 19:5 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;
Exodus 23:22 But if you will truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
"Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. - Deu 7:12
the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known. - Deu 11:27-28
"Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. - Deu 12:28
Deuteronomy 13:18 “if you will listen to the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God. “ (see vs. 17)
Deuteronomy 15:4,5 “However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, if only you listen obediently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today.”
Deuteronomy 26:14 (context = vs. 12-19) 'I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the LORD my God; I have done according to all that Thou hast commanded me.
Deuteronomy 26:17 You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice.
Deuteronomy 30:20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. "
1 Samuel 12:14, 15 If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. And if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
'Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. - 1Ki 11:38
Jeremiah 7:23 "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock……
Revelation 3:20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.
IV. God often rebuked and disciplined/judged the people of Israel because they did not listen to and obey His voice
Numbers 14:22 Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice,
Deuteronomy 8:20 Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 9:23 And when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, 'Go up and possess the land which I have given you,' then you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; you neither believed Him nor listened to His voice.
Joshua 5:6 For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Judges 2:20 So the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He said, "Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to My voice,
1 Kings 20:36 Then he said to him, "Because you have not listened to the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as you have departed from me, a lion will kill you." And as soon as he had departed from him a lion found him, and killed him.
2 Kings 18:12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded; they would neither listen, nor do it.
II Kings 22:13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
Nehemiah 9:16,29 "But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments. ... 29 And admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, By which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen. –
Psalms 81:11 "But My people did not listen to My voice; And Israel did not obey Me.
Psalms 106:24-26 Then they despised the pleasant land; They did not believe in His word, But grumbled in their tents; They did not listen to the voice of the LORD. Therefore He swore to them That He would cast them down in the wilderness.”
Isaiah 30:9 “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the LORD;”
Isaiah 65:12 “I will destine you for the sword, And all of you will bow down to the slaughter. Because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear. And you did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight.”
Isaiah 66:4 “So I will choose their punishments And will bring on them what they dread. Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen. And they did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight.”
Jeremiah 3:13 'Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 7:12-15 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, “ declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim.”
Jeremiah 7:28 "And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
Jeremiah 22:21 "I spoke to you in your prosperity; But you said, 'I will not listen!' This has been your practice from your youth, That you have not obeyed My voice.” (cf. Jeremiah 35:17)
John 5:37, 38 “And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.”
V. Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; ….”
John 10:4 "When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; “
John 18:37 “….Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
VI. We must trust God to open our ears and teach us to listen like He did with Jesus
Isa 50:4 “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens [Me] morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. -
VII. Hearing God’s voice should not be an isolated or unusual thing. He has much He wants to say to us.
Psalm 40:5 “Many , O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.”
Psalm 139:17, 18 “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
John 8:26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”
John 16:12,13 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
VIII. Hearing God’s voice sometimes is highly impactful and stirring; sometimes deeply comforting.
Psalm 138:4,5“All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Lord, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of he ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord.”
Luke 24:32 “They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
John 7:46 “The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way that man speaks.”
Rev. 1:17– “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,…” John fell at His feet like a dead man until Jesus spoke these comforting words to him.
IX. Sometimes God’s voice is audible and can be heard by several people or a group of people.
Deuteronomy 4:12 “Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form-- only a voice. “
Deuteronomy 4:36 “Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. “
Matthew 3:17 “and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Matthew 17:5-7 “While he (Peter) was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples
Mark 9:5-7 “Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”
John 12:27-30 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.”
Acts 9:3-7“ As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
X. The lost hear and heed Satan’s voice and cannot hear God’s voice apart from His merciful intervention–
John 5:37 “And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.”
John 8:38 “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.” John 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.” John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
XI. Examples of those who heard and heeded God’s voice, who listened to Him.
- Genesis 20:3-7 “But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him,….” …..”Then God said to him in the dream,……(vs. 6)…..”
- “God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob,” And he said, “Here I am.” Genesis 46:2f
- “Moses therefore said to them, "Wait, and I will listen to what the LORD will command concerning you." - Num 9:8
- Joshua 24:24 And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and we will obey His voice."
- Psalm 17:4 “As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent.”
- Psalm 85:8 “I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly. “
- Isaiah - Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
XII. Commands to listen to the prophets or examples of – Hearing God’s voice through prophets
“you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul”. - Deu 13:3
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. ... 'It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require [it] of him. - Deu 18:15, 19
II Kings 17:12, 13,14, 23
Psalm 132;11 “The Lord has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.” Cf. II Sam. 7:12-16; I Chron. 17:13-15
XIII. Examples of false prophets speaking
“Have I now come up without the Lord’s approval against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘God up against this land and destroy it.” (context = vs. 19-25)
XIV. Examples of God speaking to the lost
“But to the wicked God says,….” Psalm 50:16
“I said to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ And to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn; Do not lift up your horn on high Do not speak with insolent pride.” Psa. 75:4,5
Pilate’s wife – “While he (Pilate) was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” Matthew 27:19
Saul of Tarsus – “and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are your persecuting Me?” Acts 9:4
XV. Sometimes God speaks through angels
Luke 24:4,5 “
XVI. When God judges the wicked, He speaks in terrifying ways. One way is through human instruments like foreign armies, etc.
2 Samuel 22:14, 15 "The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice. And He sent out arrows, and scattered them, Lightning, and routed them.”
Psalms 18:13, 14 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lighting flashes in abundance, and routed them.”
Psalms 46:6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted.
Isaiah 30:30, 31 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard. And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire, In cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones. For at the voice of the Lord Assyria will be terrified, When He strikes with the rod.”
Isaiah 66:6 "A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, The voice of the LORD who is rendering recompense to His enemies.
So how can we learn to hear His voice?
1. Become one of His sheep –– Receive Him as your Savior - -
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”
John 1:12 “But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
2. Repent for not obeying His voice
Jeremiah 3:25 "Let us lie down in our shame, and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, since our youth even to this day. And we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."
3. Study His word so we know what He is like so we can know how to discern whether thoughts are from Him or from our flesh or the evil one. I used the following questions with our World Changers Sunday school class to help them grow in this:
- If I break a dish of one of my parents, and I have a thought that I should just throw it in the trash outside and kind of bury it so no one will see it, do you think that thought is from the Lord?
- If my sibling does something unkind to me, but then apologizes and I have this thought that I should not speak to him for the rest of the day and maybe forgive him tomorrow, is that from the Lord? Is that His voice?
- If I am driving early in the morning, and I come to a red light, and there is literally no one around, and I have this thought that I should just go on and go even though the light is red, especially since I am in a hurry and need to get to work, could that be from God? Could that be God’s voice?
- If I am in a hurry walking to school maybe from the school bus, and I see someone drop their handkerchief, and I have this thought that I should pick it up and run to give it to them, could that be God’s voice?
- If I am worrying about something, and I have this thought that I should go find a quiet place and talk to God about it, could that be His voice?
3. How hearing God’s voice works with acquiring or receiving His wisdom?
Proverbs 1:20 “Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square;” Proverbs 8:1 “Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?” Proverbs 8:4 "To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men.”
4. Know that there appears to be a pattern of God speaking early in the morning (which could be because He knows it is our best chance to listen without distraction) from passages like:
Psalm 63:1 “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You early; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord God has given Me (Jesus) the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to listen as a disciple.”
Jeremiah 7:13 “And now,
5. Cultivate tenderness and purity of heart through worship, as the state of our heart has much bearing on the ability of our ears to hear His voice, and worship in spirit and in truth always affects our hearts. - - see Psalm 95:7c, 8a, 10b, though reading the whole Psalm and getting a feel for how it all fits together is best.
6. Know that God’s voice will always point us to Christ and will be Christ centered. Anyone who claims to be hearing God’s voice and whom is not in love with Jesus Christ and who does not worship Him for all that He is (as revealed in the Scriptures), is lying/deceived.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And They Shall All Be Taught Of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” John 6:44, 45
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” Hebrews 1:1,2
7. Please know that God always expected His people in O.T. days to hear and obey His voice, along with meditating on and obeying the scriptures. The two are not the same. Both are necessary.
Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
“Deuteronomy 26:17 You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. “
8. Please know that partial obedience is disobedience when it comes to hearing and heeding the voice of God.
1 Samuel 15:19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?"
1 Samuel 15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said,"Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
9. Please know that there will be times where, even though you know God speaks, and you can hear His voice, there will be times when you will be in a season of darkness or confusion. It will seem He has stopped speaking or is not speaking to your point of confusion, trial or difficulty. In those times, He expects us to trust and wait on Him.
Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
1. What does Isaiah mean when he says in Isaiah 42:2, “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.”? Obviously when Jesus ministered from town to town in His earthly ministry, He did teach and interact with people, and sometimes raised His voice so the crowds could hear Him.