An age-old struggle, no doubt, is the battle of trying to decipher and discern the voice of God. If you’ve ever prayed asking God to answer a certain request, you’ve more than likely felt this tension.
Does God still speak?
How do you know if what you “heard” was His voice or yours?
Is it actually an audible voice?
We can spend our entire lives wading in these waters of confusion that typically lead to discouragement. I’ve spoken with countless women who have asked the question, in more or less words, “How does God speak?”
Before I address the answer to this question, allow me to throw out the disclaimer that I have never heard the audible voice of God. I wish I could. It would make things so much easier, wouldn’t it? There have been times when it was as close to audible as I could imagine, but I’ve never had the burning bush, the bright, blinding light from the sky, the talking donkey. Never. I read about those stories in Scripture and just marvel at the thought of God speaking so clearly. But I would like to share with you how I’ve learned to hear His voice in my life. Through years of my own pursuit of God, I’ve grown confident of these three things.
#1 – God speaks to us through His Word. His primary means of communication with His children has been and always will be through His written Word. Hebrews 4:12 puts it best when it says, “ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” When you’re alive, you breathe. When you’re alive, you move. This is the effect of God’s Word in us. It speaks, it breathes, it moves, it challenges and convicts, it encourages, it leads, and it guides. If you’re waiting to hear God speak, get into His Word. His voice rings loud and clear throughout its pages.
#2 – God speaks to us through His people. While not the primary way of His communication, God delights in using people to bring glory to Himself. How often throughout Scripture did God speak through His people? A lot. The prophet Nathan spoke God’s message to King David. Daniel spoke God’s message to King Nebuchadnezzar. John the Baptist spoke God’s message to all who would hear his voice crying out in the wilderness. The Apostle Paul spoke God’s message, one that fills up the majority of the New Testament. God delights in using broken man to accomplish His purposes. He speaks through His people, and when He does, our responsibility is to hold what man says up against God’s infallible Word. Are you listening? Who in your life loves Jesus well and speaks truth to you?
#3 – God speaks to us through our circumstances. I would also submit to you that these three fall in this order intentionally. We err when we put man or our circumstances above or before God’s Word as a means of hearing His voice. His Word first. His people second. Our circumstances third. We would be foolish to think that anything happens by mere coincidence. God is intentional. He is purposeful. He allows all of HIs children to walk through the very things that will ultimately draw them closer to Himself. Seasons of adversity are entrusted to all of God’s children. (Hebrews 12:5-6) There is always purpose in our pain, and I believe that God is willing to do whatever it takes to get our attention. He speaks to us through our circumstances.
So, are we listening? Are you DAILY in His Word? Are you surrounding yourself with faithful pursuers of Jesus Christ, and have you invited them to speak truth into your life? Are you blaming God for every hardship and pain, demanding that He answer your every “Why?”, or are you instead asking “What? – What do you want to teach me through this, Jesus?”
God still speaks, loud and clear. Perhaps, we have stopped listening. Open up your ears.