The Foundation Of Hearing & Discerning God’s Voice

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Introduction

Identifying and distinguishing the different voices in our hearts and minds is crucial. These voices include the voice of God, the voice of the world (including the voices of others, peer pressure, media, and worldly standards and systems), the voice of the flesh (our inclinations and intuitions, many of which are selfish), and the demonic voices of evil spirits (such as divination and apparitions). Understanding the differences among the voices of the world, the flesh, and the devil is difficult, and if one can’t discern the voice of God clearly, it can often lead to confusion and misdirection.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Renewing our minds is essential for hearing and discerning God’s voice.

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The God we serve is a speaking God who has communicated since the beginning of creation (Ge us to hear and discern His voice among other voices that speak into our hearts and minds. God can communicate audibly, in written form, and through other natural means. God can communicate in a dream or vision (Job 33:14-18). God can communicate a message through our experiences and encounters. God can communicate a message through nature. God can communicate a message through people. God can communicate in both general and specific ways. Our problem is not hearing; our problem is perceiving when God speaks.

Job 33:14 (NKJV) 14 For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it

Hearing the Voice of God

Let’s ponder on the importance of hearing the voice of God. It is crucial for your life to learn and live by hearing the voice of God. As humans, we should eagerly seek to hear the voice of God daily so that we can live (Matt. 4:4). Even Jesus acknowledged hearing from God (John 5:30). Hearing from God demonstrates that you are of God and God is with you (John 8:47). Hearing the voice of God shows that God knows you (John 10:27). It will determine how much you will receive from God (Mark 4:24-25). Hearing the voice of God carries weight and responsibility (Mark 4:24-25).

There are four ways in which God has spoken, is speaking, and will speak according to the Bible:

  1. God has spoken first and foremost in the entirety of Scripture (2 Ti 3:16-17).
  2. God has spoken through His Son (Heb 1:1-2; Jn 5:25-26; Rev 3:20).
  3. God speaks through His Spirit (Rev 3:22; Rom 8:14-16; 1 Jo 2:27).
  4. God speaks through His servants (Rom 10:14-21; Heb 1:1-2; Deu 4:12-14).

Discerning the Voice of God

What does it mean to discern? To discern means to perceive, identify, recognize, compare, distinguish, and separate with the sense and inner voice of the spirit. To discern God’s voice, we must begin with His word and His Spirit.

Key points to note: What you hear can sound spiritual, but is it biblical? The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit communicate in harmony without contradiction. God the Father gave us His only begotten Son (Jn 3:16). The Son of God came to declare the Father to us (Jn 1:17). The Spirit of God will teach and bring to remembrance all that the Son of God has said (John 14:26). He testifies of the Son of God (John 15:26), guides us in all truth (John 16:13), speaks whatever he hears (John 16:13), reveals things to come (John 16:14), and declares what belongs to the Son of God (John 16:14-16). The Holy Trinity communicates, confirms, connects, and clarifies things. The Father speaks of the Son (Matthew 3:17, 17:5), and in turn, the Son speaks of the Father (John 12:49-50). The Son speaks of the Spirit (John 15:26, 16:13), and in turn, the Spirit speaks of the Son (John 15:26; John 16:13-15). The Son will not speak on His own authority apart from the Father (John 12:49), and the Spirit will not speak on His own authority apart from the Son (John 16:13). The Son will only speak in alignment with the Father, and the Spirit will only speak in alignment with the Son.

The word of God is not only our main source of hearing the voice of God but also our main source of discerning His voice from other voices. The word of God (the Bible, Scripture, and Law) is fundamental and is the foundation for hearing God’s voice. God the Father is the giver of the word (2 Ti 3:16), God the Son is the personification of the word (Jn 1:14), and God the Spirit is the revealer of the word (Jn 15:26-27; 2 Pe 1:20-21). Therefore, the word of God is God himself (Jn 1:1). The word of God contains the 5 W’s to help you discern God’s voice.

  1. In the word of God contains the will of God.
  2. In the word of God contains the ways of God.
  3. In the word of God contains the walk of God.
  4. In the word of God contains the works of God.
  5. In the word of God contains the wisdom of God.

The word of God is the product of the Holy Spirit, which is vital in hearing and discerning God’s voice. He will testify about the truth, who is Jesus. He will reveal the truth, guide us into all truth, and teach the truth. Therefore, let us rely primarily on the Holy Spirit to determine, dictate, direct and ultimately help us discern the voice of God accurately and clearly.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you discern the voice of God correctly and clearly:

  • Does it align with His words?
  • Does it align with His true and original intentions toward mankind?
  • Does it align with His nature, character, identity and purpose?
  • Does it align with human goodness and flourishing? Is it for the betterment of others and self?
  • Did it come to pass?
  • Do you have internal and external confirmations?
  • Does it lead to worship, praise, faith, hope, peace, salvation, righteousness, mercy, grace, and the rest of biblical themes and values in the Scripture?
  • Does it lead to confession, repentance, and transformation?
  • Does it lead to running to God or running away from God?

On a side note, we should apply basic common sense because God rarely instructs his followers to act in ways that contradict common sense. There are exceptions, but they are not the norms.

Conclusion

In summary, there are blessings that come from hearing the voice of God. God will show you great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3). God will speak peace (Psalm 85:8). God will speak truth (John 17:17). God will speak life (John 5:25-26). God will fellowship and commune with you (Revelation 3:20). You will receive from God (Mark 4:24-25).

Hebrews 4:7 (NKJV) 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,

Do not harden your hearts.”

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

By Brahim M. Kallon

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