You CAN hear His Voice

I hear it all the time: “WHAT IF I’M HEARING WRONG?!”, in a panicked and fearful voice from a precious brother or sister in the faith. 


“What if He actually wants me to do this instead of that?”

“What if it’s just my own voice or intuition?”

“What if I MISS what God has for me because I’m hearing wrong?”

Despite how people “feel” about it, we CAN KNOW the voice of God speaking to us.  I’m prompted to write about this today because I believe God wants to reassure His kids.  He wants us walking in confidence and peace, and in full assurance that we know His voice.


The Lord brings three things to my mind every time I hear someone say these types of things:

1.     “Did God REALLY say?...”

2.     “There is no shifting shadow in Him”

3.     “Check the fruit”


Let’s start with #1.  Remember the very first lie that the serpent ever spoke to humanity?  The Word says in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said,…” 


He’s “crafty”…sneaky, manipulative, and tricky.  He didn’t come right out and speak a bald-faced lie.  Instead, he sort of came at it sideways and out of the corner of his mouth.  I can almost see his slithering body and shifty eyes as he hissed “did God really say…?”  In his craftiness, he knew that he could merely suggest a lie, and it would lead humanity’s thoughts down a rabbit trail of lies and half-truths…down the deadly slippery slope of doubting their hearing of God’s Word.


So, friend…keep that in mind when you begin to think, “what if I’m hearing wrong?”  That very question slithering into your thinking is likely from the enemy who’s working to steal from you.


On to #2.  James 1:17 is such a beautiful description of our Father:  “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”


There is no “shifting shadow”, no “variation” in our Heavenly Father.  He is 100% light and truth and wholeness.  He doesn’t change His mind.  He doesn’t lead you down one path and then cruelly yank you in another direction.  His daily living Word speaking to you will NEVER shift or vary from the solid black and white truths in His written Word.  He is a FIRM foundation.  THE Rock – the most precious Cornerstone of all we believe in.  HE NEVER MOVES.


So, if what you’re hearing in your ear makes it feel like the earth is shifting unpredictably and dangerously under your feet, it’s not the Lord.


Don’t misunderstand – God will certainly lead us in new directions that surprise us…maybe even in some directions that we don’t always want.  But know that He’ll lead us with His peace and joy, and in connection to His Word. 


I remember a particularly challenging time when the Lord asked us to downsize dramatically.  We sold our “dream home”, we sold/donated over half our belongings, and we moved to a house less than half the size we’d been in.  And boy, not everyone was on board.  Some of our kids were downright angry about it!  And there was grief as the pieces of my identity that had been wrapped up in that big fancy house got yanked out by the roots (the longer we resist sanctification the more difficult it’ll be to get started).


But my husband knew that he knew that he KNEW that God was inviting us to make that move.


One blessed day I had a crazy experience as I stood in our tiny new kitchen with 1970’s brown appliances and wood paneling….an inexplicable joy became a physical sensation.  It was like a giant bubble began in my belly and just tickled it way up and out of me.  I couldn’t help but smile and giggle while standing in that kitchen that every ounce of my flesh did NOT want haha!  That inexplainable joy comforted me like nothing else.  A peace that surpassed understanding blanketed me as a mother tenderly tucks her baby in with a soft quilt.  The SITUATION wasn’t what I wanted, but His Word stood true.


And the punchline?  I’m beyond grateful for my husband’s ear that was tuned to the Lord, and for his insistence that we obey the leading of the Lord.  Within just a few months of moving and cutting our expenses in half, the bottom dropped out of one of our businesses.  If we’d dug our heals in and insisted on staying in a place despite God’s leading us out…we’d have had serious…SERIOUS trouble. He’s a really good Father.


Finally, #3: Check the Fruit   
John 10:10 tells us that our enemy steals and kills and destroys, but Jesus gives us life abundant. And Matthew 7:16 says “you’ll know them by their fruit”. 


Matthew was talking about recognizing true followers of Jesus by the way they live their life, but I’d like to suggest that a similar test can be applied to our thoughts.


The idea is to pay deliberate attention to our thought life, and to run those thoughts through the filter of God’s Truth.  A thought, word, or action will reflect the nature of the speaker.


A “word” from the enemy will be in accordance with his lying, manipulating, stealing, killing, destroying nature. The fruit will be feelings of confusion, shame, condemnation, “shoulda-coulda-woulda”, regret, heaviness, and defeat. 


A “word” from your own brain will likely be slightly shifty.  I can really only speak for myself when I say that thoughts from my own flesh are highly dependent on how well I slept last night, when I last ate, and what the hormone balance happens to be in my body… “truth” is HIGHLY relative and changes by the moment! Not exactly the kind of thing I want to build my life on ;-)


A Word from the Lord is entirely different.  Since it reflects His perfect nature, it will bear the fruit of His beautiful Spirit.  It will carry a love, joy, peace, goodness, and patience.  There will NOT be a sense of rushing because God’s not in a hurry.  It will feel like the God of all is smiling on you because He IS.  It will be packed with power and truth, but will arrive with an unspeakable tenderness and gentleness.  Even when He’s disciplining or correcting, it will come with a heavy dose of love and gentleness.  He corrects us because He loves us not because He wants to prove He’s right.  He doesn’t have anything to prove.


And if a thought/word brings ANY fear, it’s not of Him. 


Fear of missing out?  Not God – He works all things to the good of his kids.


Fear of failure? Not God – All things are possible for and with Him.


Fear of loss? Not God – even in physical death, we are united with Him.


Fear of rejection? Not God – all who come to the Father through the doorway Jesus opened is accepted with open arms and rejoicing.


Fear of abandonment? Not God – He never leaves or forsakes his children.


Fear of not “doing enough”? Not God – He calls us to partner with Him – to take up His yoke and be linked to Him.  The burden we’re asked to carry is easy and light because HE carries the bulk of it.


So be free of the captivity of your own thoughts, friends.  Get yourself immersed in the written Word, and each time you open that book begin with a prayer of “Show me the true YOU, God”.  His character will shine from the page as you read.  Your heart will be lifted.  Your ear will be tuned to what He says and, more importantly, to WHO HE IS.


As you get to know Him more and more, you will absolutely “Know His voice”.  There’s no greater blessing!


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