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How To Hear God's Voice

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tags: Hearing God's Voice Christ in us

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Image of a woman praying, listening for God

The average Christian will quickly confess that they have a hard time recognizing God's voice even though God is speaking to them all the time. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice” (Jn. 10:3,4). He didn't say they possibly hear My voice. Neither did He say His sheep CAN hear His voice or SHOULD be able to hear His voice. He said, 'My sheep HEAR My voice.' He made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice. All true believers can and do hear the voice of God. Now there may be some objections to this. Most Christians would question the accuracy of these statements because in most cases their experiences don’t line up with this Truth. But, obviously Jesus can not lie and He isn't wrong, so where is the disconnection?

Every Christian who has received the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), who teaches us all things (Jn. 14:26; 16:13),
will necessarily hear the Spirit’s witness (cf. Rom. 8:16) of what He wants to do in His child. They just don't always recognize what they are hearing as being God's voice. This is attributed to the way most Christians are taught to hear from God. There has been an emphasis placed on seeing spiritual things rather than hearing. This has led people to be dependent on mysteries, signs and visions, causing them to become self-conscious, using reason, thoughts, and emotions to try to decipher what God is saying to them. Other teachings advocate that there must be something tangible associated with hearing God's voice such as a reliance upon how one heard Him in the past. These teachings can be terribly condemning if someone is unsure of what God is saying, if (from their perspective) He's saying anything at all. One could easily be accused of something being wrong with their spirituality due to their failure to hear or obey. Tragically, these extremes make hearing from God an impersonal and disconnected tactic, which most of the time results in an exercise in futility when the true issue is a lack of listening.

Hearing God requires listening. Divine communication does not take place externally. It resonates within our spirit as we sense an inner prompting from the Holy Spirit. It starts with the recognition of His presence in us and being receptive in obedience to what He is speaking. The indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ is the "law written in our hearts" (Heb. 8:10; 10:16; Jer. 31:33), which is the basis of revelation (Phil. 3:15) and the dynamic for the expression of what God wants to do in us. Christian obedience (hupakouo) is listening under the voice of the Spirit of Christ. Revelations 3:20 states, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and will dine with him, and he with Me". This is a beautiful depiction of sweet, intimate communion with Christ. Too many Christians don’t hear God because they don’t acknowledge His presence, which is unbelief. Receptivity of Christ is the obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). Those who are His hear His voice and open the door. Christians who are receptive to what Christ wants to do in their lives open the doors of their hearts to participate in spiritual fellowship with the risen Lord Jesus, allowing Him to reside in the abode of their souls. Life as God intended is to be in intimate communion with Him, responding as we hear His voice.

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